Imagine you’re casting for a voice and listening to demos and you come across an audio file for a Mercedes-Benz ad. You listen as the voice extolls the virtues of the all-new electric vehicle from Stuttgart. They’re a big brand, so you slot this talent onto the shortlist. All good, right?

But then, as you listen to a few more of their samples, your ear picks out that all the reads are from the same session, and you get that sinking feeling. The Mercedes -Benz ad is faked. Hmm.

I’ve done research across various forums and found 2 camps on this phenomenon. One camp thinks it’s fine – the “fake it till you make it” mob – while the other camp thinks it’s unethical, and I totally agree with this. Let me explain why.

It’s called “passing off” – a legal term described as “making some false representation likely to induce a person to believe that the goods or services are those of another.” (Dulhaime’s Law Dictionary).

As one of the world’s leading car manufacturers that runs the best F1 team of the last decade, Mercedes-Benz is a powerful brand. If a voice talent lists Mercedes Benz in their portfolio, it’s a strong endorsement of their voice craft. A faked Mercedes ad gives a talent the same halo effect, but without them ever having done the work.

I’ve found that most voice talents who engage in making faked ads have never worked with a top brand, never been in a session with people calling in from around the world, never had an Oscar-winning director in their ear giving briefing notes after each take. When caught out, they’ll hide behind the “Fake it Till You Make It” axiom. But think about it – if a doctor faked their CV, there’d be hell to pay, so why would it possibly be OK for a voice actor?

Experienced pros do not engage in fluffing their portfolios with faked ads.