Way back in September ’05, we mentioned the lawsuit Tom Waits initiated over an ad campaign run by a German division of GM, mimicking his vocal style without permission. And we ran a Tom quote on the issue, just ’cause he’s so damn clever:
“Apparently,” Waits said, “the highest compliment our culture grants 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 honor. Currently accepting in my absence is my German doppelganger. While the court can’t make me active in radio, I’m asking it to make me radioactive to the advertisers.”
Radioactive! See what he did there? Well, today it’s good news for Tom; the suit has settled. Via NYT:
The ads, made two years ago by McCann Erickson Germany for Opel, a division of General Motors, showed car owners putting their vehicles away to the sounds of a gravelly, Waitsian lullaby. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but in a statement Mr. Waits ? who has successfully sued advertisers in the past for copying his sound ? said he would donate his net proceeds to charity.
When reached for comment, Waits offered:
I?m glad to be out of the car sales business once and for all.
Tom Waits for the win.