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Move over Don Draper: at least one agency thinks AI can devise better ads than humans ever could.

Bluefocus Intelligent Communications Group Co. plans to replace its external copywriters and graphic designers with ChatGPT-like generative AI models, according to an internal staff memo seen by Bloomberg News. The $3 billion company, one of China's best-known media and public relations outfits, has reached out to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc. to explore licensing their technology, local media including Yicai reported earlier.

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News of the memo triggered a near 19% surge in the agency's shares at the peak of trading on Thursday, though the stock gave up about half those gains by the close and fell more than 6% Friday. Company representatives weren't immediately available for comment.

"To embrace the new wave of AI generated content, starting today we've decided to halt all spending on third-party copywriters and designers," according to the internal memo.

Business leaders around the world have explored use cases since OpenAI's ChatGPT demonstrated an ability to not just provide human-like responses but also create poetry, write essays and pen fiction from scratch. But Bluefocus, which said on its website it serves clients such as Samsung and BMW, may be moving faster than most.

Fears of AI replacing humans have percolated through most every industry for years. Media executives especially see generative AI as a new existential threat, worried that creative chatbots will steal readers and advertisers, much as earlier internet innovations did. Many are looking at ways to mitigate the fallout, for instance through walled-off content or legislation.

Bluefocus is going the other way.