Amazon Alexa skills “should not promote Google Home”

It was a simple mistake that provoked a strong, if wrong response.

An Alexa skill developer was reprimanded for leaving in a read-out referring to the Google Assistant hot phrase “OK, Google,” but it was the Amazon employee’s reason for rejecting the skill that left other devs watching their code.

It was Jo Jacquinta’s game skill that had an offending line. Instead of encouraging users to play again by saying “Alexa, open Mind Maze,” the promo line ended up being pasted down as “if you enjoy card games, you can say ‘OK Google, talk to 21 Blackjack’…”

The clerk that rejected the app listed the following reason for doing so:

Actual result: The skill promotes google home by saying ‘OK Google’ when user utters Stop or Cancel.

Expected result: The skill should not promote Google Home.

Does just mentioning “OK Google” make the app an ad for the Google Home speakers? Should skill developers fear the words “Google” or “Cortana?” Maybe not, as Amazon later clarified its policy to TechCrunch:

We reviewed the skill and determined that the incorrect phrase could lead to customer confusion and did not accurately portray the skill functionality. The certification representative’s response was an error. We do not ban the usage of brand names, although we do strive to ensure that trademarks, intellectual property, or brand names are used properly.

Looks like that’s cleared up the confusion about confusion and not competition.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.