Realistic Portrayals of Untrue Information: The Effects of Deepfaked Ads and Different Types of Disclosures

Malgorzata (Mags) Karpinska-Krakowiak*, Martin Eisend

*Corresponding author for this work

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A deepfake is a realistic portrayal of untrue information (i.e., it realistically depicts individuals who were not originally present in a given footage). A deepfaked ad has the potential to mislead consumers because it shows people saying or doing things that they have never said or done, which can harmfully influence consumer decisions. Despite the increasing prevalence of deepfakes in various contexts, there has been no research on their implications in advertising and how to effectively protect consumers through disclosures. Therefore, we conducted three studies. Study 1 shows that consumers recognize deepfakes as synthetically generated ads only if there is a clear indication or disclaimer regarding the synthetic nature of deepfakes. Study 1 also demonstrates that simple disclosures (informing about the alteration of the original message) do not reduce the perceived portrayal realism of deepfakes. Study 2 examines new extended disclosures for deepfakes (informing about the consequences of alteration for an ad and a consumer). The study shows that these disclosures are successful in reducing the perceived factuality, but not the portrayal realism, of deepfakes. Study 3 replicates this effect and tests a boundary condition (i.e., prior expectations about advertising factuality).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advertising
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 07 Feb 2024.

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