Zomato spot: Musk, Messi, and Leo—AI creativity at its finest

Zomato, a popular food delivery platform, has utilized advanced AI technology to create new social media content featuring famous personalities. These generated images portray Elon Musk making chaat, Lionel Messi serving biryani, and Leonardo DiCaprio brewing chai. These unique and intriguing visuals are expected to attract attention on platforms like Instagram, where users often pause to view and share interesting content before continuing to scroll.

However, an important aspect to consider is whether Zomato sought permission from the three famous individuals before incorporating their images into these scenarios using generative AI. Permission is crucial when using the names or references of well-known individuals, as outlined in the Advertising Standards Council of India's (ASCI) code. According to Manisha Kapoor, the secretary general of ASCI, advertisers are required to obtain explicit permission and including a disclaimer alone does not make it acceptable to use such references without consent. Kapoor made this statement in a LinkedIn post regarding a post by upGrad, an online education company, which had generated a picture of Sundar Pichai and faced criticism for not seeking permission.

Considering this recent incident involving upGrad, it would be prudent for Zomato to take note of the consequences and potential backlash before sharing their video. Adhering to ASCI's code and obtaining explicit permission from the individuals portrayed in the images is essential to avoid legal and ethical issues.

Brands have a valid reason to employ generative AI as it allows for quick production and cost savings. However, it is crucial to ensure compliance with regulations and ethical standards, particularly when involving well-known personalities in advertising or promotional content.


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