Klarna halves marketing team by using AI

Occurred: June 2024

Fintech company Klarna significantly reduced its marketing team size and costs by leveraging AI, prompting criticism about the firm's apparent prioritisation of profit over people and lack of concern for his employees' jobs. 

Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski faced criticism after stating publicly that the company's in-house marketing team was now half its previous size but producing more work, attributing its newfound efficiency to AI. 

The company said it had saved approximately USD 10 million annually by using generative AI for tasks such as running marketing campaigns and generating images, which reduced the need for photographers, image banks, and marketing agencies.

According to Siemiatkowski, Klarna's use of AI allowed the company to cut external marketing agency expenses by 25 percent and eliminate the need for stock imagery by using AI image generators. He also said that Klarna had built an AI-powered copywriting tool, Copy Assistant, which allows the company to use AI for 80 percent of all copywriting.

Siemiatkowski's statement also sparked a heated discussion about the impact of AI on creative industries and jobs.

Operator: Klarna
Developer: Klarna
Country: Global
Sector: Banking/financial services
Purpose: Generate marketing copy
Technology: Chatbot
Issue: Employment; Ethics/values

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