Samsung TV owners vent frustration over UI ads

Mike Wheatley

Some Samsung TV owners are said to be up in arms over the increasing prevalence of advertisements that are popping up in their user interface. They’re complaining that the ads, which have existed for some time, are now getting larger and becoming increasingly obtrusive, and unrelated to their interests.


FlatPanels HD reports that Samsung enabled ads in the user interface of its Smart TVs back in 2016, and that most viewers accepted the change without complaint. At the time, most of the ads related to new streaming services or content from Samsung partners such as Google Play and Amazon Video.

But in the last few months something has changed, and owners say they’re seeing increasingly more obtrusive ads showing up. Examples include ads for canned beans and discounts at supermarkets, as seen in the image above that was posted to Samsung’s community forum.

Samsung Germany responded to the complaints via Twitter, saying that there’s no way for users to deactivate the ads on their TVs.

“In general, the banner cannot be deactivated in the Smart Hub. We thank you for your feedback and assure you that Samsung takes customer feedback into account in product development,” Samsung Germany said.

The article may be slightly unfair to Samsung however, as it’s far from the only TV brand that has began forcing ads down its viewers’ throats. Indeed, Google began pushing ads via a “sponsored” row on the home screen of Android TVs in April 2019, affecting TVs made by Sony and other brands. Meanwhile Panasonic has started experimenting with ads that show up when the user adjusts the TV’s volume, while in Europe, broadcasters there are using HbbTV to display targeted ads. Amazon shows ads through its Fire TV devices and Roku is working hard to transform itself into a next-generation ad platform.

It looks as though this is an unwelcome trend that’s here to stay.