AI & Ethics: Revolutionising marketing without compromising ethical principles

While AI is helping rethink the accepted rules of marketing creation and production, it presents an ethical minefield that embraces inclusion, privacy, consent, trust and accountability.

By Fiona Couper on Tuesday, 26 March 2024

At our recent AI & Ethics breakfast event (with the Financial Services Forum) we explored how responsible brand guardians can enable AI to revolutionise marketing, without compromising ethical principles.

With over 100bn users now using ChatGPT weekly, the breakfast event, held at JM Finn, discussed how AI can revolutionise marketing without compromising ethical principles. Thanks to our expert panel for their invaluable professional perspective:

  • David Copping, Partner, Farrer & Co.
  • Nuno Godinho, Group CEO, Industrial Thought Ltd.
  • Derek Yates, Associate Professor and Head of Creative Lab, Ravensbourne University London.
  • Crispin Heath, Head of Digital, Teamspirit.

The UK is keen to take a pro innovation stance[1] and the City of London Corporation’s report, AI Accelerating Innovation, shows that the City is already harnessing this technology in positive and ambitious ways[2]. 90% of banks have already dedicated resources to generative AI initiatives with the goal of providing better customer experiences, improving risk management and creating innovative products[3].

The panel started by talking about the positive possibilities that AI is creating, particularly its ability to create more personalised recommendations and communications. And reducing volumes of repetitive work. Derek Yates, Head of Creative Lab, Ravensbourne University, highlighted its ability to create inclusion with the shift from making by hand, to thinking and visualising.

We then delved into one of the criticisms, the AI data bias which is undetectable to most people. Latest research in Scientific American suggests human users may unconsciously absorb these automated biases[4].

Nuno Godinho, Group CEO, Industrial Thought Ltd explained that the bias will exist and be reinforced if you let AI exclusively use existing and undirected sources, and shared examples of just how quickly bias is revealed when AI is left undirected. ‘Prompt Engineers’, individuals who set the direction for what is being sought by AI, will become a vital future role. Businesses, therefore, need to be vigilant in not creating a new bias by programming AI to only reflect their current business. Nuno went as far as forewarning about the risk of FS businesses using the same AI tools, which could lead to in inadvertent market manipulation in supporting similar stock picks.

Next the issue of how brands can ensure content authenticity and protection was explored. According to Gartner’s CMO Priorities report 2024, 55% of brand reputation leaders are concerned about risks associated with GenAI. Crispin Heath, Head of Digital, Teamspirit talked about the increasing ability to create brand content which is already turbo charging social content. AI output is often more vanilla and risks brand dilution which is why he advocates less output of better quality as the overriding objective.

The conversation then moved to IP and defining the lines of ownership when using AI for creation. David Copping, Partner, Farrer & Co, outlined the UK’s existing framework around copyright and ownership which the regulator continues to promote. For David, transparency is critical and encourages companies to have an agreed approach to AI and to maintain a record of the prompts employed to direct their AI outputs. Ultimately the panel discussed how, similar to the music industry, the market will mature towards immutable tokenisation that will help to provide clarity around ownership.

The panel concluded by providing their top three tips for successfully integrating AI into future marketing strategies. Becoming familiar with the tool that AI provides is critical as the better the prompts the better the results. Key is remembering that it is a tool not an end product in its own right. It provides possibilities that have the potential to allow greater inclusion, when used responsibly.

Join us in September where we will be discussing the latest usage cases as AI’s deployment matures.


  1. UK Gov pro innovation stance March 2023, and interim report here

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