AI as a marketing term

As artificial intelligence has become a hot topic in the media, it has become more available to the public (including businesses), and marketers are increasingly using AI terminology to promote a wide array of products. In their attempts to tap into the buzz and excitement around new technological developments, marketers should take care not to mislead about what their products are or can do.

This article covers misleading claims about AI in products - the ASA has produced separate advice on the use of AI to generate advertising content and deepfakes.

You can find out more about the ASA’s own use of AI to proactively regulate online advertising here.

Don’t falsely claim that the product uses AI

This may sound obvious, but don’t claim AI capability where none exists. Be aware that using an AI tool in the development process is not the same as a product having AI in it.

Don’t exaggerate what your AI product can do

Be clear exactly what features AI delivers in your product and why it benefits the consumer, and ensure you hold substantiation for performance claims. Don’t be tempted to make claims that go beyond the limits of what any AI or automated technology can currently achieve.  If claims apply only to certain types of users or in certain circumstances, the ad is likely to mislead if that is not made sufficiently clear.

Don’t claim that your AI product does something better than a non-AI product, unless you have good evidence

Advertisers often claim that a new technology gives their product an edge over products that don’t use the technology. These types of comparative claims also require adequate evidence to support them. If such evidence is not possible to obtain, advertisers would be best advised not to make the claim.

Be aware of the risks

As the marketer, you are responsible for ensuring your marketing complies with the Advertising Codes. If it fails or does not work as promised, you cannot just blame a third-party developer for misleading efficacy claims that may result, or claim you are not responsible because you don’t understand the technology or don’t know how to test it.

Marketers are also advised that other regulators may impose other requirements on the use of the term ‘AI’.

If you have any questions about your planned ads, or want to talk over how any of the issues raised here might impact on your advertising, our Copy Advice team are on hand to provide free, fast and confidential bespoke advice on your non-broadcast advertising.

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