Spotify today launches a creative ad campaign that highlights the restrictions that Apple places on developers like Spotify. These restrictions prevent users from being able to easily learn about new deals and promotions which could improve their digital experience and save them money.

The “Censored” campaign, leveraging Spotify’s 3MF Premium offer for all eligible Free tier or new users in the UK, includes advertising in key locations in London such as a high profile billboard in Leicester Square and bus stops in Westminster, as well as in an email to all eligible iOS users – but with a twist. The information about the offer is redacted in the OOH displays, reflecting how Apple prevents Spotify from sharing key details of its deals, promotions or alternative payment links with customers who use its app on iOS.

The ads mark Spotify’s latest move in its ‘Time to Play Fair’ campaign, which aims to tackle Apple’s anti-competitive practices and advocate for a fairer digital marketplace. In the US, Spotify has labelled Apple’s recent attempted move to impose a 27% fee for transactions made outside of an app on a developer’s website as “outrageous”, accusing Apple of stopping at nothing to protect its profits.

In the EU, Spotify last week announced how it will change its iPhone app to include previously banned in-app sales and promotions of its own services as Europe’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA) comes into effect. Spotify is the first leading technology company to change how it does business in response to the DMA – a bill passed last year that regulates competition practices of gatekeeper tech companies like Apple. But with Apple continuing to reject the goals of the DMA and put forward unworkable alternatives “masquerading as compliance with the law”, Spotify is calling on the European Commission to take action.

In the UK, Spotify is urging the Government to pass a strong Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill that brings consumers a thriving, expanded tech sector. Recent polling – commissioned by Spotify – shows consumers back fairer digital markets, with 56% of Brits supporting the DMCC in forcing large tech companies to allow developers like Spotify to tell their users about ways to save money.

Find out more on Topham Guerin.