Under Armour AI-powered ad plagiarises earlier work

Occurred: March 2024

An 'AI-powered' advert featuring boxer Anthony Joshua came under fire for reusing others' work without credit.

Ad director Des Walker said on Instragam that he had created the 'first Ai-powered sports commercial' in 'three weeks flat' by combining Ai video, Ai photo, 3D CGI, 2D VFX, Motion graphics, 35mm film, digital video and advances in Ai voiceover.'

However, Walker was quickly accused of plagiarism by other creatives who pointed out that his ad in large part repackaged an ad created by Gustav Johansson and André Chementoff two years previously, neither of whom were acknowledged in the ad spot.

Walker said Under Armour and production company 72 and Sunny owned the rights to the footage and officially requested and licenced their use.

The incident highlighted ethical concerns over professional acknowledgments, and prompted creatives to criticise Under Armour and Walker for replacing creative output traditionally done by humans with technology.

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Operator: Under Armour
Country: UK
Sector: Business/professional services
Purpose: Create advert
Issue: Cheating/plagiarism; Employment; Ethics/values
Transparency: Marketing