Google Home began playing ads for 'Beauty and the Beast' in daily briefing

Tyrone Stewart

Google Home users who wanted to receive their daily summary of their day’s events were in for a surprise as Google decided to drop in an ad for the release of the Beauty and the Beast film. Some Android users also said they heard the ad through their Assistant-supported devices.

As first reported by The Verge, the ad – which was delivered using the regular Assistant voice – left users far from happy.

“By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and The Beast opens today,” the Assistant said amongst the daily summary. “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.”

Google has now stopped serving the ad. However, in its initial response, Google claimed this was not an ad at all.

“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 tech giant told The Verge in a statement.

Google would then perform a slight pivot in a second statement – providing a slightly more thorough answer and better insight into what it was trying to achieve.

A spokesperson for Google claimed “this wasn’t intended to be an ad” and that it was simply a test in providing ways to offer other relevant information to users. The company went on to admit it “could have done better in this case.”