Is Amazon running ads on the Kindle Fire?

Is Amazon running ads on the Kindle Fire?

An interesting question came up in the Kindle Customer Service Q&A forum:

Kindle fire is displaying Girl With Dragon Tattoo ad on browser open

Lauren, who asked the question, described it as

“…startling and loud and very, very annoying.”

Well, we know that with many RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles), you have a choice of having an ad-supported model or not.

There aren’t two choice for the Kindle Fire (one with ads and one without).

Yes, there are ads on the Kindle Fire…you can have ad-supported free apps, websites show you ads, there are ads in magazines…all sorts of places.

To my knowledge, though, Amazon wasn’t putting ads on the Fire that you saw because you have the Fire.

I responded this way:

“Lauren, that’s very interesting to hear.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an ad on my Special Offers Kindle Touch recently.

However, I haven’t heard that from other people yet, and I would think I might.

My guess is that it isn’t connected to Amazon…that movie has been promoted a lot of places a lot of ways. My guess is that you might have gone somewhere where that was a promotion, and it’s just that when you go the Web tab, it loads a page you left open.

Try this:

First, go to Web and click the little X on the name of any pages you have open to close them.

Then, while still on the Web tab, do


Under Saved Data, clear your Cache and your History. you may also want to clear your cookie data.

Having done that, it won’t remember webpages you’ve been to before…i would guess that will take care of it.

If it doesn’t, contact Kindle Support at

You’ll see a

Contact Us

button on your right. I’d call them or have them call you.

If they tell you it is part of Amazon, I’d be very interested to hear that…and so would other people. I’m guessing that’s not it, though.”

I thought that might be the end of it.

However, another poster, GeoHueb, also reported the issue. My intuition is that GeoHueb was pretty knowledgeable. GeoHueb said in part:

” Its also frustrating that this doesnt show in the browsers history and there are no other links or info. It just plays the trailer and then goes to the browser. grrrr.”

I have not experienced this myself…I tried going to the web this morning to test it. No trailer. So, I thought I’d ask you:

I kept the question generic, because there might hypothetically by different ads.

The poll only applies to the Kindle Fire…I know there has been a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ad on my Kindle Touch with Special Offers. 🙂

Let’s take this one step further…what if Amazon has sold ad space for the Silk browser? Would that be a problem for you? I often see unasked for ads when I’m on the web. Google often shows me an ad (or several) at the top of my search results. They do label them as ads and put a different color behind them. I don’t think you need to label a trailer as an ad, by the way…that’s what it is. 🙂

Is advertising on the browser philosophically different from advertising on the device? I’d feel that way…if I saw an ad on the Kindle Fire’s splash screen (when it is booting up or coming out of sleep), that would seem more intrusive than just another billboard on the information superhighway.

That doesn’t mean that I’d mind it, by the way…but I would assess it as “pushier”. Let’s say you have a kid who just uses the Kindle Fire with apps you’ve selected (using the free app Kids Place) . A movie trailer in that situation would seem to be more outside the intended use.

Going on the web? That’s a much less self-directed act.

Feel free to let me know what you think (and what you’ve seen). I haven’t allowed the installation of apps from unknown sources (Settings Gear – More – Device)…that could possibly be a variable. I haven’t changed the “Accelerate page loading” setting (Web – Menu – Settings)…mine is still checked. I haven’t changed the “Block pop-up windows” setting (Web – Menu – Settings)…mine is still set on “Ask”).

I’m not sure on this one…is it an ad from Amazon or not? Is it impacted by somewhere somebody has gone on the web before?

I need more data…and you taking the poll helps with that.  So does commenting (thanks, commenters!). 🙂

Update: GeoHueb is now reporting (in the above referenced thread) that Kindle Customer Service said that it was an Amazon thing, and that it was supposed to rotate trailers…and that they turned it off.

Since about 93% of respondents in the above poll at this point say they haven’t seen it, it might be some sort of beta testing…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

11 Responses to “Is Amazon running ads on the Kindle Fire?”

  1. Emily Says:

    I had a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ad pop up once, but the impression I had at the time was that an app I installed caused it to pop up. I don’t remember which app it was though. Maybe Corona Indie Bundle? It was free app of the day on 12/12. All I know is I found it to be annoying to have an ad pop up so I deleted the app from my fire and it hasn’t shown up again. Of course it could have been coincidence that it popped up just as I was using a new app. I know it did not happen when I turned on my fire. It happened while I had already been using it.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Emily!

      So far, the poll is not indicating a problem. It could be related to an app, which might explain why it is not common…

  2. Paul Says:

    I have not seen this in the browser. But it could be related to some annoying behavior that I have seen in the browser. And that is that the browser will frequently display a recent page from my history in a new tab when I launch the browser.

    This can result in multiple tabs open in the browser all displaying the same page, or cause a tab I’ve closed to mysteriously reappear upon my return to the browser. Very bizarre. Your suggestion of clearing the cache would likely fix this, but it’s clearly a bug.

    I wonder if those who are seeing the ad had previously viewed it in the browser?

  3. Pineapple Says:

    Bufo – I had this ad popup for about three days after I installed the 6.2.1 update (installed on release date).

    However, it was being launched when I opened a free app that has ads. One of the ads was for this movie. It is a Solitaire app that shows the ads between each deal of the cards. I just cancel them and I just assumed I had not hit the tiny cancel button properly. I have brought up other ads by mistake this way. I just hit the back button and they’re gone. Since then, I’ve been much more precise with the cancel button and have not had a problem.

    I’ve used the web alot for browsing and have not seen this ad using the web. I think it’s connected to free apps.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Pineapple!

      Do you happen to know which app it is? I could run that by the people who had the question…

  4. The Year Ahead: 2012 « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Fire and an Amazon/Kindle branded cellphone. I think the former will definitely happen…and I have gotten reports that suggest they may be testing it now. I don’t think they’ll give us a price break on […]

  5. Teresa Says:

    I had “The Devil Inside” movie trailer popup. It seems mostly to happen if I am playing solitaire or freecell on my kindle fire. I hate it!!! Today (1/8/12) was the first day that it happened, but it happened 8 or 9 times in a 30 minute time period. I got so aggravated that I turned the thing off – no one needs to see that trailer that many times…it is pretty disturbing!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Teresa!

      I’ve heard Solitaire mentioned before…do you know if you have an ad-supported free version?

      • Teresa Says:

        I do have a free version of both solitaire and freecell, but I have never had an ad before today. I received my kindle from my husband for Christmas and have used it daily (so for basically 2 weeks) without any ads or creepy movie trailers – maybe I just “won” the jackpot today with so many.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Teresa!

        I do think it might be your apps, then, but I don’t know. There are a lot of reasons for apps to be free, but one is that they may be paid for by selling ads. That doesn’t mean you need the kind of pop-up ads you constantly see in Angry Birds. I can see a movie distributor putting in a lot more money once a month than those little ads put in over a month combined.

        However, I’m also sure there are so many people who have downloaded Solitaire/Freecell that it could just be a coincidence that I’ve heard that mentioned. It may be like blaming heart disease on making right turns in your car, because almost everybody who has heart disease has made a right turn in a car…

      • Teresa Says:

        Thank you so much for your quick responses….It’s nice to know that I am not the only one that got a movie trailer surprise 🙂 Besides that, I LOVE my kindle – even at this point, I don’t know what I would do without it!!!

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