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Ifrah Law Attorney quoted by Reuters over Google Assistant’s Unique Set of Advertising Challenges

When it comes to disclosing sponsors, your Google Assistant may be mute

One Google assistant feature already is close to violating disclosure rules, according to five advertising attorneys contacted by Reuters. Google contends it is in compliance.

The feature recommends plumbers and other local home service providers without disclosing that the results draw from a curated database mainly composed of companies that joined a Google marketing program.

“It’s not a completely clean recommendation,” said Michelle Cohen, an attorney with expertise in marketing rules at Ifrah Law in Washington, D.C. “If there’s a financial commitment, you’re supposed to disclose it.”

Conversing with assistants is routine for millions of people globally, whether on bedside alarm clocks, car audio systems or even high-end headphones. More than 1 billion such devices have Google Assistant, 100 million Amazon.com Inc’s Alexa and at least 1 billion Apple Inc’s Siri, according to the companies and estimates.

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