The Dreadvertising Manifesto


Mobile apps -both informational apps and games- play a huge role in society and enhance peoples lives in many extraordinary ways. However, "dreadvertising" - dreadful practices in advertising - is ruining the useful values and functions that apps have to offer. Unfortunately, tech experts, media and the advertising industry itself focus mostly on privacy aspects, and fail to see the impact of dreadvertising at the level of user experience.

Dreadvertising in apps is the new "pop up banners" of the 90s and early 00s when there were no apps and only browsers, ruining the usability and user experience of browsing the web. Nowadays, app creators, designers, developers and publishers apply dreadvertising to again destroy the usability and user experience on a mass scale, fighting to get eyeballs and clicks from users, making them drones for the advertising industry and more importantly, ruining what apps should be.

Dreadvertising can ruin great apps and make users switch to competitors.

The principles

The principles of the Dreadvertising Manifesto should be used in order to create apps that will not negatively impact user experience and still allow for advertisements to be shown and enable ways to make money using freemium or ad revenue models.


1) Apps should only show one (1) single ad at any point in time.
2) Apps should offer a way for the user to remove all ads forever, for example by an in app purchase or subscription.


3) Ads should not use more than 10% of screen real estate.
4) Ads should not cover any app content.
5) Ads should be clearly separated from other content.
6) Ads should not interrupt the usage and flow of the app. (Do not use interstitial ads.)
7) Ads should not open any app store, download page or official store view without appropriate user interaction.
8) Ads should not redirect the user outside of the app without appropriate user interaction.
9) Ads should not download any content or install apps without appropriate user interaction.
10) Ads should not use system resources to such a degree that it impacts performance of the app.


11) Users should not be forced to watch or click on ads.
12) Users should not be offered rewards to watch or click on ads.

The badge

Dreadvertising-badge-dark.png Dreadvertising-badge-light.png

I have created a badge that can be used to indicate that an app or game was made according to the principles of the Dreadvertising Manifesto.

If you're a developer, writer, artist or creator and want to do the same, use these badges in your products. Together we can make the world better.

Download these and other badges for free on the download page.