Here’s an odd case that mixes music licensing with murder and intrigue, much like sprinkling granola into a plastic cup full of fermented dairy product.
Duran Duran issued a statement Saturday disavowing any association with a Yoplait ad that used “Hungry Like The Wolf” without permission. Here’s the full message:
Many of you have written to us, voicing your dismay about the recent license of our song Hungry Like the Wolf, to a yoghurt commercial. Please know, Duran Duran do not support this usage of their music and unfortunately, this particular license was granted without any prior notification to any of us. Had we known, under no circumstances would we have backed it.
Thankfully, the ad has now been taken off the air and moving forward we hope to avoid any further situations like this.
The song’s publishers have licensed that song many times — this Old Spice ad comes to mind — so it’s unclear why this particular commercial would be a problem. Perhaps, as Slicing Up Eyeballs reports, it’s related to Yoplait’s Facebook page being bombarded with comments protesting the use of the song due to its connection with the Diane Downs murder case of 1983. That seems to be why Yoplait ultimately pulled the ad. Representatives for the company initially defended the song’s use in a Facebook comment thread:
We chose the music because it’s a popular song that felt right for this ad. The Yoplait team has discussed this quite a bit and found that the large majority of people have only positive connections to this song, given that the Diane Downs incident was more than 30 years ago.
A few days later, Yoplait had reconsidered:
When we chose the song, we had no idea of its connection to this terrible event. We take your feedback seriously, and yes, we have decided to remove this ad from the air while we consider other versions. Please know that it may take a couple of days until the ad is fully removed. We’re again sorry that it’s upset you and promise there was no intention to cause such disappointment.
It’s not like they used “Helter Skelter” or something — although that would make for one hell of a Yogurt commercial. Here’s the offending ad so you can experience the outrage for yourself.