Three UK tests mobile ad blocking this June

Remember earlier this year, when UK mobile carrier Three said it would introduce ad blocking technology from Shine across its network?
Now, the company has announced the next steps and will be trialling ad blocking in the UK from June. The network, which reaches 30m customers, will run a 24-hour test for opted-in customers.
Three to trial ad blocker for 24 hours
In a statement, the company said:

“We believe the current mobile advertising model is broken and our customers are becoming increasingly frustrated by irrelevant and intrusive adverts which use up their data allowance and can invade their privacy by tracking their behaviour without their knowledge or consent.”

47% of high earning UK adults and 43% of those on lower incomes have stated that they plan on using ad blockers over the next six months.
Ad blockers have become an interesting prospect for mobile Internet users who are experiencing slow load times or have been bombarded with irrelevant ads that are eating into their data plans. In addition, issues over privacy of data collection have further driven consumers towards ad block technologies.
Undeniably, there are benefits to ad blockers, such as minimising the strain on one’s data plan and mobile bandwidth. However, concept can only remain ‘free’ if it paid for through advertising.
There are other options than simply installing apps such as AdBlock Plus. For example, PageFair works with publishers to filter only quality ads that bypass an ad blocker. However, ad blocking at network-level is generally believed to be far more effective than using apps.

Three has scheduled its trial for the week of June 13 to test the technology’s abilities. The carrier says it wants to help consumers filter through ads that may be damaging their mobile browsing experience.
Tom Malleschitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Three UK, said:

“This is the next step in our journey to make mobile ads better for our customers. The current ad model is broken. It frustrates customers, eats up their data allowance and can jeopardise their privacy. Something needs to change. We can only achieve change by working with all stakeholders in the advertising industry – customers, advertising networks and publishers – to create a new form of advertising that is better for all parties.”

It remains to be seen if the move could potentially ruffle feathers between the carrier and large brands as well as ad tech clients and service providers.

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