UK Advertising Association sets up industry AI Taskforce

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The UK Advertising Association has formed a new AI Taskforce bringing together senior representatives from across its membership.

The aim is to build a coordinated policy approach, in recognition of the rapid need to establish ethical safeguards, develop industry guidelines and work with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) where appropriate to ensure the use of AI in advertising campaigns is transparent and legal, decent, honest, and truthful.

AA’s AI Taskforce

The Taskforce meets for the first time this week to ensure the advertising and marketing industry are responsible producers, deployers and end-users of AI.

It will also explore the productivity and creativity gains for the industry and wider economic benefits for the UK, following AI’s increasing prominence as a transformative technology.

The Taskforce will also aim to ensure the UK is the best place to develop and champion AI in advertising and marketing to reinforce its position as a world-leading hub, and seek to increase the standard and clarity of industry policy on AI ethics and usage – informed by policy in related areas, such as data ethics.

Notably, the taskforce will be co-chaired by two member organisations of the Advertising Associations and its Front Foot network – Google – represented by Advertising Industry Relations Manager, EMEA, Yves Schwarzbart – and advertising agency VCCP – represented by Managing Partner and Head of Social Innovation, Alex Dalman.

Stephen Woodford, CEO, Advertising Association, said: “The establishment of our AI Taskforce comes at a critical time for AI and its use, not just in the UK but in advertising around the world.

“The Taskforce will focus on the ethical usage of AI in advertising as well as helping develop the UK’s role globally for AI’s influence on marketing and advertising innovation.

“This Taskforce draws from the strengths of our AA and Front Foot membership to include the best mix of senior technical, policy and legal experts across the advertiser, agency, platform, and media community.”

Alex Dalman, Managing Partner and Head of Social & Innovation, VCCP London, said: “We believe that AI can unlock tremendous potential in advertising and marketing, and that generative AI in particular will be an accelerator of human creativity and innovation — but we also believe that it must be used responsibly.

“So, we’re very excited to be part of the AI Taskforce where we can help to guide the industry through its latest transformation and participate in important conversations about policy, ethics, and societal impact while keeping a focus on the incredible opportunities that AI presents.”

Yves Schwarzbart, Advertising Industry Relations Manager, EMEA, Google, said: “With AI being the most profound technology shift that humanity is working on today, it is only right for the UK advertising industry to consider how we can be bold, yet responsible, in the way we harness the potential of AI.

“I am grateful to the Advertising Association for the opportunity to co-chair this important workstream together with Alex, and I look forward to helping play my part in finding the industry’s collective voice on AI and driving these discussions forward.”

The Taskforce will convene for a minimum twelve months, with plans to meet quarterly.

The Advertising Association said it has already been taking an active role in discussing the opportunities and questions posed by AI, with its International Trade Director, Aisling Conlon, co-hosting the Creative Industries Gen AI conference earlier this month at the Emirates Stadium in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade.