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iOS Notifications: I Don’t Want Crappy Promo Messages in Them


The image above (featuring a devastatingly handsome Labrador) shows the latest notification I received from the Project magazine iPad app. Just in case you can’t read it, it says:

Win £30/$50 of iTunes vouchers! New Issue 7 quiz: What’s in David Schwimmer’s pocket? Email editor@projectmag.com with the answer for a chance to win.

So Project is using an alert not to share any breaking news. Not to let me know that a new issue is available (which they also do, and that’s fine by me). Not to announce an update to the app. No – they’re using a notification to promote a contest with a giveaway in return for email addresses. Here’s my first, second, and final reaction to that:

Do. Not. Want.

There are a bazillion contests on any given day giving away iTunes gift cards, iPads, iPhones, and all sorts. I don’t need to know about all of them, and I certainly don’t need to hear about them via an iOS notifcation. For me that is not at all what notifications are intended for. I could not care less what is in David Schwimmer’s pocket, thanks very much Project editors.

I realize some may think this is a pretty innocuous promo message, and it offers a prize that’s plenty relevant for iOS users. Maybe so, but it sets a bad precedent. I don’t want giveaways being promoted via notifications. I don’t want anything being promoted via notifications.

I’ve turned off notifications from Project, and will do the same for any other apps that uses alerts for crap like this.

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  • Brandon

    I agree completely and I’ll be turning off notifications for any company that does the same thing.

  • Well said. Using notifications for advertising is a great way to get customers to ignore future “important” messages.

  • Dimwit

    To me, you didn’t go far enough. My response would be:
    1. Cancel subscription.
    2. Delete App.
    3. Send email to managing editor detailing steps 1 and 2 as well as why.
    But, that’s just me…

  • Renkman

    Agree w/Dimwit! That’s total BS. My guess is they won’t do it for long.

  • SFDex

    Hear, hear! I turn off notifications for exactly the same reason. Aggressive advertisers will ruin anything they can. Mind you, I don’t object to subtle adverts in context, but notifications — or, worse yet, text message ads — really rust my zipper, as it were.

  • M

    Just report them. It’s against terms of use for push notifications.

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