Recap: 2023 ANA Annual Advertising and Marketing Law Conference | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

If artificial intelligence is so great, why can’t it reliably predict the weather?

The weekend has just closed on another very rainy Floridian ANA Masters of Advertising Law Conference (Last year we had a hurricane, so this would qualify as an uninspiring upgrade). The Masters Conference is the largest advertising, marketing and promotion law conference in the nation, bringing together major brands, storied advertising agencies, and prominent regulators to discuss cutting-edge topics impacting the industry. Each year – not by design but by happenstance – a different theme is featured. This year, to no one’s surprise, the focus was on AI.

While not every session discussed AI in depth, most speakers devoted some time to the subject throughout the 3-day event.  Panelists confronted questions like: does algorithmic bias, increasingly employed in various industries, constitute an unfair trade practice?  How will regulators view advertising claims based on next gen tech?  What copyright traps exist for the unwary utilizing AI to generate advertising content?  Are US and international privacy laws evolving fast enough to keep up with new challenges posed by AI?  And while it had nearly zero to do with AI, the conference would have felt incomplete without a discussion of what drag queens can teach advertising lawyers about intellectual property protection.  Many learned more about Cardi B’s album covers during that session than they could have imagined in their wildest dreams.

There is no doubt that AI will affect the advertising and marketing landscape for years to come.  Like the metaverse (last year’s theme) and crypto assets (the year before that), these issues are not new.  But despite AI having been around for some time, the leaps forward that generative AI applications have made this year appear poised to significantly transform the landscape of advertising content creation and delivery.  President

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Advertising Week Briefing: How AI is expected to dominate this year’s conference

This year’s Advertising Week in New York may as well be called Artificial Intelligence Week as generative AI is expected to be a dominating theme for the more than 12,000 marketers, advertisers, media and tech professionals are expected to attend this year’s conference.

The 19th edition of Advertising Week is hosted in “The Penn District,” otherwise known as the neighborhood around New York City’s Penn Station, as well as online, making it a hybrid event — a post-pandemic trend for industry events. And undoubtedly, this year’s focus is the AI boom, according to attendees.

“In 2022 there was so much about the metaverse, but that pales in comparison to the impact AI is having across the advertising industry and that is obviously going to be very apparent at this year’s Advertising Week New York,” said Anna Bager, president and CEO of the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), in an email.

Consider it a continuation of the conversations that were taking place at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity back in June, where the industry was excited by new tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Bard by Google and the new AI-powered Bing. (Read Digiday’s 2023 artificial intelligence glossary here.) 

Months later, in time for Advertising Week, generative AI has continued to mature with marketers testing said tools to streamline processes and make people’s jobs easier, content creators using the new tech to make higher quality content for platforms and even AI showing up during the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Only a few months later, it feels a lot calmer and a lot more rational. People have been able to better wrap their head around what is AI, how is it potentially both a benefit to your existing [tools] and how you do business,” said David Anderson, partner and

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