October 1, 2023


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Should ad agencies be required to disclose the use of AI in marketing campaigns? | by Jessica Byrne | Jul, 2023

As AI photo creation tools like Midjourney become more advanced and widely used, the world’s largest advertising agency Ogilvy is encouraging marketing companies to explicitly state when they are used in social media campaigns.

Jessica Byrne

The advent and rapidly improving capabilities of AI image generators such as Midjourney have sparked both excitement and debate in the online world.

On Instagram, digital novices have opened accounts to share their imaginative experiments with testing the boundaries of AI tools to large followings. These colourful and highly detailed images depict AI-imagined architecture, artwork, and beyond.

A quick scroll through displays how the accuracy of these tools has improved massively over a very short period. Just months ago, Midjourney had trouble making realistic-looking human hands, but now, this is rarely ever an issue.

As a result, experts at Ogilvy, the world’s largest advertising agency, anticipate that a flood of newly introduced AI-generated social media celebrities will emerge within the digital sphere. This might sound far-fetched if you aren’t familiar with the character Miquela, who already boasts an arsenal of brand partnerships to her 2.8 million Instagram followers.

But the boundaries of such deals could change, as Ogilvy prepares to launch an initiative that urges advertising firms to disclose when AI-generated imagery is used in digital campaigns.

The AI accountability code

According to the Financial Times, Ogilvy’s initiative will require social media companies to ‘clearly disclose and publicly declare AI-generated influencer campaigns.’

The advertising giant has already planned to include a ‘watermark’ on all AI images it uses in its own advertising.