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Google Home Trials Audio Advertising

Some owners of the Google Home have been targeted with a message promoting a new Disney film after requesting a summary of their day.

While the ‘My Day’ functionality of Google’s smart speaker typically provides users with information about the weather, appointments and travel times, today some also received a message promoting the release of the new remake of Beauty and the Beast.

“By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and The Beast opens today,” the usual Google Assistant voice read at the end of a ‘My Day’ summary, without any distinguishing features to indicate the message was an advertisement.

The message continued: “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 something about Belle.”

Twitter users @brysonmeunier posted a video of the message:

When contacted by outlets including The Verge and Wareable, Google initially stated that the message “isn’t an ad” but instead a somewhat contradictory opportunity for “partners to be our guest and share their tales”.

Later, Google followed up and explicitly stated the message “wasn’t intended to be an ad”.

“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 said.

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