Intrusive mobile ads tackled

16 September 2014

JAKARTA: Two leading industry bodies in Indonesia are calling for an end to intrusive mobile advertising by some of the country's telecoms operators and are petitioning consumers to add their voice to the opposition.

The Indonesian E-Commerce Association (Idea) and Indonesian Digital Association (IDA) said they had been lobbying two leading telcos, XL Axiata and Telkomsel, for the past year about their practice of running interstitial and off-deck ads on publishers' mobile sites without their consent.

Now they have lost patience with the telcos' alleged failure to act and, on behalf of 60 publisher members, have begun a public campaign to stop them from inserting the ads which they say publishers have not agreed to and have no responsibility for but for which they are nonetheless being blamed by users.

The two associations described the telcos' actions as "hijacking for monetary benefit" and added that they were concerned there were no procedures that allowed consumers to opt out of receiving such ads.

"We are really disappointed with the negligence from operators towards this issue," said Daniel Tumiwa, chairman of Idea, who hoped that users and other site owners could come together to resist the intrusions.

"We are still quite optimistic about finding a mutual solution, if only every stakeholder shows their willingness for constructive discussion," he added.

Even if the telcos accede to their demands, users may soon find that advertisers have developed a new way to annoy them. Mumbrella Asia reported the launch of a technology that claims to evade ad blocking software by placing ads halfway through online videos, much in the manner of a traditional TV ad break, and then hiding the fast-forward function to make it more difficult for users to avoid watching them.

Data sourced from Mumbrella Asia; additional content by Warc staff