AI in advertising, for example in the B&B Vol Liefde image, saves costs, but there are also risks

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Images created with artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly used in advertisements. This makes a significant difference in costs, but there are also risks, such as a lack of representativeness and a blurring line between fake and real.

For example, an advertising image at the beginning of the dating program B&B Vol Liefde was created with the help of AI applications, but it was difficult to get people out who “do not look like a model”.

The viewer sees couples in love having a drink on a terrace, but no photo shoot is involved. Yesterday the happy news came out that a Winter Full of Love baby is on the way! Saul and Amy, who met each other through the program, the winter edition of B&B Vol Liefde, shared the news.

“In the example of that advertisement, we were able to reduce production costs considerably, because we did not have to fly to three places in the world with a crew and actors,” head of data and AI at RTL, Daan Odijk, told ANP.

When making these types of advertisements, RTL struggles with the fact that people created by AI are not always representative. “An AI model is of course trained and often optimized for the best possible image, often for photo shoots and photo models. But of course that is not reality as we see it. It is difficult to get people out who don’t look like a photo model,” says Odijk.

Lotte Willemsen, director of the Foundation for Scientific Research in Commercial Communication, explains that AI is increasingly finding its way into the advertising industry. “It is estimated that creating advertisements could be ten to twenty times cheaper thanks to the use of AI,” she says. But Willemsen also warns that if AI is trained with non-representative data, this can lead to creative content that is “biased” and mainly shows “white men or women with a certain beauty ideal”.

Moreover, says Willemsen, there is a risk that “the line between real and fake becomes blurred.” Such as virtual influencers who promote products. According to her, consumers can then purchase products that they would not have purchased if they knew that AI had created a certain image or text. It is therefore important that the role of AI in advertising is transparent, she concludes.

There are no specific rules for the use of AI in advertising, says a spokeswoman for the Advertising Code Committee. The committee has not yet received any complaints about deception by AI.

Odijk emphasizes that RTL is careful with the use of AI applications. Yet he thinks that advertising is treated relatively loosely. “People don’t expect when they see an advertisement that it is exactly what reality is.”

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