Le Creuset Calls Le Bullshit on AI-Generated Taylor Swift Ads

The bougie dutch oven brand has blown the lid off a bunch of false ads that were using their products to scam Swifties.

Le Creuset Calls Le Bullshit on AI-Generated Taylor Swift Ads
Photo:Brookgardener, Tinsletown (Shutterstock)

If you’ve seen Miss Americana a few hundred times like the editor of this website, you likely remember a scene in which Taylor Swift prepares dinner for her best friend, Abigail. In it, the pop star mills around her kitchen, clumsily pours wine, and serves up what appears to be a bolognese made in none other than a robin’s egg blue Le Creuset dutch oven.

Now, some four years later, a slew of falsified advertisements are using the famed cookware to target Swifties on Facebook and other social media platforms, according to the New York Times. In a number of the recently-emerged ads, an AI-generated Swift voice announces she’s “thrilled” to give away free Le Creuset cookware sets. Those who encounter the ad are directed to click on a button and answer some questions then, whoever is behind said scam, gains access to the users’ data and money.

“Hey y’all, it’s Taylor Swift here,” begins one ad with Swift sitting—and looking very much not in her current era—at a piano. Synthetic Swift then explains that Le Creuset can’t sell several products due to a packaging error and so she’s partnered with the brand to simply give them away to her fans. Per experts, AI technology was used to create a version of the singer’s voice, which was dubbed over footage of Le Creuset Dutch ovens. A clip of the ad can be seen here.

The Times reported that “dozens” of similar scams—which also appeared on TikTok—using Swift’s likeness were visible on Meta’s public Ad Library. Scores of them appeared on timelines this month, alone.

So, how do said scammers do it? A text-to-speech service that translates a script into an A.I.-generated voice. This can then be dubbed over footage of people talking to a camera. Eerie, no? Even more so given that Swift is only one of many celebrities who’ve been mimicked in fake ads. Tom Hanks, Gayle King, Joanna Gaines, and Luke Combs are just a few who’ve found themselves at the center of AI-generated scams in the last year.

In early 2023, Better Business Bureau issued a warning to consumers that fake advertisements made with AI-generated celebrity voices and likeness have become “more convincing than ever.” Those who fall prey are often saddled with hefty charges and without the product they ordered. As of now, a definitive number of people who fell victim to the Swift scam has not been reported.

To the Times, Le Creuset clarified that they’ve never been involved in any giveaway with Swift. To state the obvious: duh. A brand famous for peddling basic cookware items for a couple of hundred bucks each doesn’t just give them away. Representatives for Swift, however, have yet to address this scam.

If you ask me, she now has the opportunity to do the funniest thing ever and actually partner with Le Creuset to give away some free pots and pans. But hey, that’s just one woman (who really wants a $460 Dutch oven)‘s opinion.

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