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By 17 March 2017 | Categories: news

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Amazon’s Alexa home voice assistant has proved a surprise hit, with Google’s Home also looking to get into the action. But now it seems like you would have to get used to some marketing messages hence forth if you want to build your life around’s Google’s voice-activated speaker, powered by Google Assistant. Popping up yesterday was an ad for the latest Disney movie – Beauty and the Beast.

Bryson Meunier, an SEO marketing professional from Chicago, tweeted this bizarre exchange with his Home unit, with her spouting: “By the way, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast opens today,” later continuing, “[…] ask me to tell you something about Belle.”

A statement from Google noted that even though it looks, swims and quacks like a duck, this is, in fact, not a duck.  “This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.”

In a statement to Business Insider, Google continues in its duck-hunt:

“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.”

Should we then in future get used to Home providing tailored marketing for the latest sponsored content? If radio can do it, and TV can do it, why then not Google Home? Somehow it just doesn’t feel right to have this cutting-edge technology, playing the role of personal assistant, reverting to methods employed by pre-digital media. Not okay Google, definitely not okay. 

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