Google's smart speaker reportedly playing ads for 'Beauty and th - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Google's smart speaker reportedly playing ads for 'Beauty and the Beast'

Google's smart speaker is treading in new territory: playing ads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Google's smart speaker is treading in new territory: playing ads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(RNN) – Some users of Google’s smart speaker and personal assistant are reporting that the device is playing audio advertisements for Beauty and the Beast.

During what's supposed to be a daily briefing, Bryson Meunier’s Google Home let him know that the film was opening on Thursday. Meunier posted a video to Twitter showing the exchange.

“OK, Google. What’s my day like,” he said.

After rattling off a few routine facts about the weather and Meunier’s commute, the personal assistant plugged the film without warning or changing its voice.

“By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today,” the Google Home said. “In this version, Belle is the inventor. Sounds more like it to me.”

In a bizarre statement laden with Beauty in the Beast puns but no logical argument, Google told The Verge that that audio was not an ad.

"This isn't an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales," the statement reads.

Google has received flak for the advertisement in a Reddit thread, where several other users reported receiving the same message. 

Meunier said he has not searched for the movie.

"I have a 5-year-old daughter, so the targeting isn't bad," he said. "But I haven't searched for the movie to my knowledge."

One Reddit user shared a similar sentiment.

"I don't believe I've done any searching for the film either, so I think it's not due to perceived interest," the user wrote.

Google Home – a personal assistant and smart speaker – costs $129. It’s unclear this type of advertising is a long-term strategy, but this is the first reported instance of "partners" sharing their "tales" on the product.

Because of its similarity to native advertising tactics, the ad is naturally less abrupt than traditional commercials; however, some users have criticized it for being intrusive and a violation of consumer trust.

Others have defended the ad as a revenue source to upkeep Google Assistant servers.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.  

  • Online Poll

  • Are you OK with smart speakers playing ads?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes.
    12%
    5 votes
    No.
    88%
    37 votes
  • Social media newsMore>>

  • For the first time, Facebook spells out what it forbids

    For the first time, Facebook spells out what it forbids

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:46 AM EDT2018-04-24 09:46:09 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:57 AM EDT2018-04-24 09:57:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. For the first time, Facebook is making public, on Tuesday, April 24, its detailed gu...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. For the first time, Facebook is making public, on Tuesday, April 24, its detailed gu...
    For the first time, Facebook spells out how it decides whether to delete your posts.
    For the first time, Facebook spells out how it decides whether to delete your posts.
  • Financial expert taking Facebook to UK court over fake ads

    Financial expert taking Facebook to UK court over fake ads

    Monday, April 23 2018 7:05 AM EDT2018-04-23 11:05:45 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:50 AM EDT2018-04-24 09:50:42 GMT
    A personal finance expert is suing Facebook at Britain's High Court, claiming the social media company is allowing the publication of scam ads featuring his name.
    A personal finance expert is suing Facebook at Britain's High Court, claiming the social media company is allowing the publication of scam ads featuring his name.
  • Audit clears Facebook despite Cambridge Analytica leaks

    Audit clears Facebook despite Cambridge Analytica leaks

    Friday, April 20 2018 10:24 AM EDT2018-04-20 14:24:11 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 5:10 PM EDT2018-04-23 21:10:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square.  An audit of Facebook’s privacy practices for the Federal Trade Commission found no p...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. An audit of Facebook’s privacy practices for the Federal Trade Commission found no p...
    Audit of Facebook's privacy practices found no problems, though company knew a data-mining firm improperly obtained private data from millions of users.
    Audit of Facebook's privacy practices found no problems, though company knew a data-mining firm improperly obtained private data from millions of users.
Powered by Frankly