Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Curious double standards on display over at Pepsi - we're always reading about how much money they spend on the likes of David Beckham and Beyonce to get their endorsements; however, it seems they sort of forget to pay bands for the soundtracks to their ads. The company has just been forced to pay a quarter of a million bucks to the Flamingos for its "forgetting" to pay for the use of I Only Have Eyes For You. This was back in 1997; perhaps the most shameful aspect is it took nine years of legal action before one of the world's biggest companies did the right thing and paid up.

San Francisco based entertainment lawyer Steve Ames Brown reckons there's a trend:

"Pepsi routinely pays the Caucasian performers who appear on camera, but refuses to pay the African-American singers whose voices are used in the soundtrack unless they sue," Brown said.

"That's completely inaccurate," said Dave DeCecco of Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi. "We have a long history and strong track record of supporting diversity in our advertising."

A spokesman for Pepsi said the failure to pay The Flamingos directly was an oversight and that Pepsi didn't realize the song was subject to the collective bargaining agreement.

Which might be true, people do make oversights. It's funny, though, that when this oversight came to light, it still took a judge ordering them to pay up to get the cash out of them.