The Risks of AI and Photoshopped Images in Marketing

It is challenging for businesses to keep up with the constant need to stand out and captivate audiences through compelling visuals. However, the rise of AI image generation and advanced photo editing tools like Photoshop has introduced new ethical considerations and potential risks when these technologies are misused for marketing purposes.

A recent high-profile example is the controversy surrounding the Mothers’ Day image released by the Princess of Wales’ team. The photo, which featured Catharine alongside her three children, was alleged to have been heavily edited using AI tools to alter the children’s appearances and body proportions. This drew widespread criticism and the public felt that the royals were trying to hide something.

The Risks of AI and Photoshopped Images in Marketing - Kate Middleton Mothers Day Photo

Another concerning case is the “Willy Wonka Experience” attraction in Scotland, where advertisers used AI-generated images that depicted the iconic chocolate factory and its characters in ways that raised ethical and legal questions. These synthetic images closely resembled the intellectual property of the Willy Wonka franchise, potentially violating copyright and trademark laws and was nothing like the actual experience customers found when they arrived.

The Risks of AI and Photoshopped Images in Marketing - Willy Wonka Experience Photoshop

Risk of Using AI for Photo Editing

While AI image generation and advanced photo editing hold immense creative potential, their misuse for exaggerated or deceptive marketing practices poses several risks –

1. Promoting Unrealistic Expectations – Heavily edited or AI-generated images can perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards, body image issues, and distorted expectations among consumers, especially younger audiences.

2. Intellectual Property Violations – Using AI to generate images that closely resemble copyrighted or trademarked characters, logos, or properties without proper licensing can lead to legal disputes and intellectual property infringements.

3. Lack of Authenticity and Trust – Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy in detecting overly edited or synthetic visuals. Employing such tactics in marketing can damage a brand’s credibility and erode consumer trust.

4. Ethical Concerns – The use of AI image generation and excessive photo manipulation raises ethical questions about deception, manipulation of public perception, and the potential for spreading misinformation or propaganda.

Things to Think About When Responsibly Using AI

As businesses continue to leverage visual content in their marketing strategies, it is crucial to strike a balance between creativity and ethical practices. Responsible use of these technologies involves –

– Transparency – Clearly disclosing when images have been significantly edited or generated using AI tools.

– Respect for Intellectual Property – Obtaining proper licenses and permissions when using copyrighted or trademarked visuals.

– Authentic Representation – Prioritising realistic and authentic visuals that accurately represent products, services, and brand values.

– Ethical Guidelines – Developing and adhering to ethical guidelines that promote truthful and responsible marketing practices.

Transparency When Using AI

Businesses must prioritise ethical and transparent practices when leveraging AI and photo editing technologies in their marketing efforts. Failing to do so risks damaging consumer trust, facing legal consequences, and contributing to broader societal issues related to body image, misinformation, and intellectual property violations.

Working with Piece of Cake Marketing

Transparency and honesty are core to our values here at Piece of Cake Marketing.

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