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Artificial Intelligence Daily Briefing Public Relations (PR)

The Drum’s Daily Briefing: blasphemous potato chips and M&S’s farting cows


By Gordon Young, Editor-in-Chief

April 10, 2024 | 7 min read

Our quickfire analysis of the brand, marketing and media stories that might just crop up in your meetings, brought to you today by editor-in-chief Gordon Young.

Amica Chips ad featuring a nun

Amica Chips has been accused of blasphemy

Marks and Spencer’s milk cattle herd news

Marks & Spencer is spending £1m to cut the harmful gases in its dairy cows’ flatulence as part of a net zero push.

The UK-based retailer said it would change what it feeds cattle in its supply chain, which could cut around 11,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The move could reduce the carbon footprint of Marks and Spencer’s fresh milk by 8.4%. It is working with the 40 dairy farmers in its “milk pool” on the scheme.

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases and will no doubt be used as an example of how the company’s green claims aren’t simply hot air.

Source: The Guardian

Get your clammy hands off AI, Clegg tells Silicon Valley

Yann LeCun, Meta’s chief AI scientist, has said Elon Musk is wrong in his assertion that AI will surpass human intelligence next year.

Speaking at an event in Meta’s London HQ, one of the so-called ‘godfathers’ of the tech said that, although artificial general intelligence is achievable, it could take decades to arrive. He pointed out that scientists had a track record of overestimating how fast AI would evolve.

Speaking at the same event, Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, called for AI to be freed from Silicon Valley’s ‘clammy hands.’

He said that AI needs to be made freely available rather than being controlled by a few tech giants.

He pointed out that Meta has been pushing open-source AI tools to ‘democratize’ the technology.

Source: The Times

Italian crisp brand accused of blasphemy

An Italian TV commercial that depicts nuns receiving potato chips at Holy Communion as opposed to wafers has been accused of blasphemy.

The 30-second spot for Amica Chips shows novice nuns queuing to receive Communion from a short-sighted priest. But when the first nun is given the Eucharist, she widens her eyes and a crunching sound is heard.

The commercial cuts to the Mother Superior, who is holding and enjoying a bag of Amica Chips.

Despite the ad causing a holy row, Lorenzo Marini Group said the ad was aimed at a young market who would get the ‘strong British irony.’

Aiart, an association of Catholic TV viewers, called for the ad to be suspended, but the global publicity the row has generated has no doubt given Amica a sense that God is on its side.

Source: The Guardian

AOC plots AI law in the wake of deepfake porn attack

In a move that will be watched by other legislators around the world, Alexandria Oscio-Cortez, the New York congresswoman, is helping to craft a law intended to stop non-consensual, sexually explicit AI-generated deepfakes.

Ocasio-Cortez has been repeatedly targeted by manipulated images since taking office as the youngest woman to serve in Congress in 2018.

These included a digitally altered image on X that appeared to show someone sexually assaulting her.

In February, she told Rolling Stone: “There’s a shock to seeing images of yourself that someone could think are real. As a survivor of physical sexual assault, it adds a level of dysregulation. It resurfaces trauma. It’s not as imaginary as people want to make it seem ... It parallels the same exact intention of physical rape and sexual assault, which is about power, domination and humiliation.”

The proposed US law change, which has bipartisan support, would amend the Violence Against Women Act.

Source: Rolling Stone

Talk TV loses £88m

TalkTV lost £88m in its three years as a terrestrial TV station, according to accounts filed by parent firm News UK.

The company recently announced the channel would move to an online streaming format as the traditional terrestrial format was simply not sustainable.

Separate accounts showed profits at The Times and The Sunday Times fell to £60.8m from £73.2m as a downturn in print advertising and a rise in print cost squeezed margins.

Meanwhile, The Sun and The Sun on Sunday lost £66m last year, which the company partly blamed on a Facebook algorithm change that hit digital advertising revenue.

The issue of how social and digital algorithms are apparently suppressing referrals to news sites is a matter of increasing concern to publishers.

Last year, Owen Meredith, CEO of the News Media Association (NMA), and Jim Mullen, CEO of Reach and NMA chair, wrote to Meta accusing it of ‘choking trusted news’ with policies that seemed to deprioritize news

Source: The Telegraph

Jeremy Clarkson to extend Diddly Squat brand into pubs?

Could Jeremy Clarkson be planning to extend his Diddly Squat brand into the hospitality sector? The former motoring TV presenter who launched the Clarkson Farm TV series is looking to buy a pub in the Cotswold.

The farming show, based on his trials and tribulations getting to grips with his Diddly Squat farm, became a significant hit. And Diddly Squat itself is a strong brand in its own right.

From a marketing perspective, a range of real ales would be an obvious brand diversification. However, many in the licensed trade wonder if a TV series based on running a pub could do for them what Clarkson Farm has done for agriculture by increasing awareness and public sympathy around how tough these businesses are to run.

Ask to comment, Clarkson said: “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.”

Source: The Times

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