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Google removes Beauty and the Beast voice ad from its smart speaker; claims it wasn't...

By midian182 · 7 replies
Mar 17, 2017 at 10:45 AM
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  1. When is an ad not an ad? When it appears on Google Home, apparently. That’s what the search giant is claiming after some users of its smart speaker heard a promotion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake while it announced their daily schedule.

    When asked “Tell me about my day,” Google’s assistant finished the briefing with what sounds suspiciously like a 15-second ad. “By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today. In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. That rings truer if you ask me. For some more movie fun, ask me to tell you something about Belle,” it said.

    But Google insists what people heard isn’t actually an advertisement. "This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. A source familiar with the partnership says no money was exchanged between Disney and Google for the ‘ad.’

    A few hours after videos of the promo started appearing online, Google removed it and issued another statement.

    “What’s circulating online was a part of our My Day feature, where after providing helpful information about your day, we sometimes call out timely content. We’re continuing to experiment with new ways to surface unique content for users and we could have done better in this case.”

    Google may have quickly removed this promo, but talk of “new ways to surface unique content” has an ominous ring to it. With ads infiltrating pretty much every part of our digital experiences, it wouldn’t be surprising if they eventually made their way onto smart speakers.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. alabama man

    alabama man TS Maniac Posts: 260   +157

    Why would anyone want a "smart" speaker? It's made to spy and broadcast ads and on top of that costs money, if it was free I would somewhat understand.
     
    BSim500 likes this.
  3. seeprime

    seeprime TS Enthusiast Posts: 47   +29

    I claim that Google is lying without even thinking about what the PR statement says. It was an ad, presented as helpful news that no one asked for.
     
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,055   +1,000

    I use mine for an alarm clock and to tell me the temp/weather ..... otherwise it's useless to me ....
     
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,743   +534

    "But Google insists what people heard isn’t actually an advertisement. "This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales," a Google spokesperson said in a statement."

    I see what you did there, Google.
     
  6. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,147   +2,376

    A smart speaker... What a worthless pile of crap. I wouldn't have this thing in my house even as a gift.
     
    BSim500 likes this.
  7. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Guru Posts: 660   +258

    Myself and the agency are spying on you right now and it's not costing you a thing.
     
    cartera likes this.
  8. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Guru Posts: 252   +397

    And that's what "smart" speakers are all about - yet another advertising channel / glorified surveillance device with half the features of a screen-less tablet tacked on as an afterthought.
     

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