Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tom Waits Goes to Court Over Opelganger

Here's something from

Tom Waits is taking General Motors to court over a series of car commercials that perfectly mimic his singing style, soundgenerator can report.

Airing from late winter 2004 to early 2005 in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway, the suit in question names both General Motors' Opel and the ad agency McCann Erickson in Frankfurt, Germany. Waits is known for his policy of refusing to allow his music to be licensed commercially, and, according to the suit, turned down big-money offers several times from Opel. After the defendants were informed of Waits long-standing policy against doing commercials, their agents hired a sound-alike singer to imitate Waits, according to the lawsuit.

"Apparently," Waits says in a statement, "the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad -- ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car. I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honour. Currently accepting in my absence is my German doppelganger. While the court can't make me active in radio, I am asking it to make me radioactive to advertisers."
Is Tom Waits so compelling to car buyers that Opel felt that it was necessary to get itself in this kind of legal trouble? And, more important, is it true that in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway they have commercials with naked celebrities lying on cars and purring?

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