Smart Speaker Does The Shopping

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Smart speaker does the shopping
27th June 2018

By Lloyd Lugsden

A TV advert for a smart speaker activated an accidental order for cat food.

The advert for Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speaker was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it activated a viewer's own device and placed an order for cat food.

The advert demonstrated people using the device in various situations and included a man’s voice saying: “Alexa, re-order Purina cat food” to which Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, replied: “I've found Purina cat food. Would you like to buy it?”

The viewer, who said their Echo Dot speaker ordered cat food after he watched the advert, complained that the ad was socially irresponsible, reported the Mirror.

The ASA said: “In this instance, the complainant had cancelled the order themselves, but we understood that had they not done so, the order would nonetheless have been cancelled automatically.

“Therefore we understood that it would not be possible for a purchase to be made without the account owner's knowledge, even in instances where technology, intended to stop ads interacting with devices, had not been effective.”