US: BBDO advises employees against AI use - What is ad land’s take on artificial intelligence?
May 3rd, 2023, Lesley Simeon

US: BBDO advises employees against AI use - What is ad land’s take on artificial intelligence?

Advertising agency network BBDO Worldwide has advised its employees against using generative AI tools for client work unless approved by the organization’s legal team. In an email statement to employees, the agency’s president and CEO Andrew Robertson has said, “While we are excited by the potential to incorporate generative AI into our services, we want to do so in a way that avoids unresolved issues such as potential violations of copyright and ownership and confidentiality concerns.”

BBDO does currently use traditional AI tools, but its CEO’s remarks on the technology joins the alarm bells sounded around AI use in recent times. For instance, four federal US agencies recently outlined how existing laws allow them to regulate companies for AI bias.

With ad world’s interest in artificial intelligence growing of late, we look at YouGov data to see what professionals working in the ad and media space feel about AI.

According to YouGov Profiles - which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioral consumer metrics - a majority (77%) of respondents who work in media/marketing/ advertising/PR and sales (i.e., ad and media professionals) agree with the statement that “we have to pay attention so that the development of artificial intelligences doesn’t get out of hand.” By comparison, 73% of the general US population also agrees.

These professionals are more likely than the general population to say that “I think in the future, artificial intelligence will help humans in most of their daily tasks” (75% vs. 59%).

Recently, scientists and researchers have suggested we might need more time to evaluate the effects of AI before further developing the technology.  When it comes to pausing large-scale AI development for a period of six months, most media and ad land professionals support the initiative. Profiles data shows that 76% of these professionals support a pause on AI development (of which 41% strongly support the pause). They are more likely than the general population to support it (67%).

On the other end, an equal proportion of media professionals and the general population oppose a pause on some kinds of AI development for six months (14% each). 

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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