O2’s chief executive has said that ad–blocking by mobile networks is not ‘the answer’ to increasingly intrusive advertising on smartphones.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ronan Dunne said that while the mobile industry needed to tackle the issue, he preferred advertisers to sign up to protocols ending pop–up and other intrusive ads.
It comes as Three says that it will block ads at a network level, a move which has caused consternation among some advertisers and joy among consumers tired of having their data eaten into by ads that hamper the smartphone experience.
"What we’ve seen with some of the research we’ve done is, if it’s relevant and contextual, a lot of customers are comfortable with advertising. Good, well-considered advertising is akin to curation – it’s actually delivering value to customers.
"It’s when it’s unsought and it disrupts their ability to consume the content that they’re after that it’s a problem. The current environment isn’t tenable, so it has to evolve."
Last year, O2 mooted the idea of blocking ads on its network, only allowing those who fit specific standards to advertise.
Dunne’s comments may well set him on a collision course with Three, which is in the process of buying out O2 in a multi–billion pound deal.