'Highly annoying': Complaint about Noel Leeming TV advert that turns on viewer's smart speakers

A Google Smart Home device. Photo credit: Getty

A complaint about a TV advert which keeps turning on a viewer's smart speakers has been thrown out.

The complainant claimed Noel Leeming was doing it deliberately, according to a new ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad promotes a range of gadgets the retailer says would make good Christmas gifts.

"The shop assistant is asked to wrap various products such as a hair dryer, stick vacuum cleaner and toy robots," the ASA said. "As he plays around with the gadgets, he uses the Google Assistant function and asks 'Hey Google, what time is it?' He checks the response against the three watches he has on his wrist."

The complainant said their devices also respond every time the ad comes on.

"The ad clearly states 'Hey Google' and asks a question, which they know, and it does, trigger every Google smart device in someone's house.

"I have 10 such devices in the house which includes smart speakers, smart displays and Chromecast, which all respond to the advert. This is not only highly annoying, but also a deliberate attempt to trigger these devices."

The ASA didn't ask Noel Leeming if it was doing it deliberately, saying there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

"The chair carefully reviewed the advertisement and said the likely consumer takeout would be the advertiser was promoting the technology on offer in the products for sale. 

"The chair said the triggering of the smart devices in the complainant's home was an unintended consequence of the language used in the advertisement. Whilst she acknowledged it was annoying for the complainant, it did not reach the threshold to breach the code."