If you’re a big fan of Disney and Beauty in the Beast in particular, then you probably enjoy and appreciate the reminders everywhere that the live-action movie remake is already in theaters now. But if you’re not and you hate any kind of advertisement intruding into your daily routine, then you probably will not like Google for this new thing they’re doing. Some users of Google Home have reported that their Google Assistants were inserting references to the new Disney movie even if they did not do any search or inquiry regarding it.
One reddit user said that after Google Assistant gave him the usual weather and time information, it said something like “By the way, Beauty and The Beast opens in theaters today. In this version, Belle is the inventor. Sounds more like it to me.” When he didn’t respond to that, it did not say anything more about the movie. Some Android users have also said they are also hearing it from their Google Assistant on their mobile devices.
Google said that “this wasn’t intended to be an ad” and is simply part of their “My Day” feature which sometimes tries to incorporate “timely content” after giving you the usual helpful information that you need from your Assistant. This is part of their experiment to be more relevant and have “unique content” for their users. So don’t worry just yet, they aren’t planning to actually allow paid ads to be part of the Google Assistant feature. Hopefully.
But as seen by people’s reactions to this, Google has to be careful with anything that sounds like advertising. We are now living in an age where consumers are allergic (or think they are) to any hint of brands talking to them and giving unsolicited information.