Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

When an Ad Is Not an Ad

Some followup on yesterday’s story about Google Home devices playing an apparent ad for Beauty and the Beast, in which I mocked Google’s claim that it wasn’t an ad. Turns out that it, truly, wasn’t, according to a followup statement obtained by Catalin Cimpanu of Bleeping Computer:

“This wasn’t intended to be an ad,” said a Google spokesperson regarding the incident. “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.”

Disney may not have paid Google to tell Home users about their new movie, but that’s what it felt like to a lot of people. And now Google really, really knows that their users won’t tolerate anything resembling an ad on their Home devices.