It's sound for artists to put mouths where money is
HIS will makes it clear that the late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's antipathy to his music being used in advertising extends beyond the grave. However, that attitude is becoming more out of fashion, not least in Australia where, while the likes of Missy Higgins and Gotye are adamant in saying no to ads, Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody have bent with the wind.
HIS will makes it clear that the late Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's antipathy to his music being used in advertising extends beyond the grave. However, that attitude is becoming more out of fashion, not least in Australia where, while the likes of Missy Higgins and Gotye are adamant in saying no to ads, Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody have bent with the wind.Just ask Sydney band Winter People, who can afford to release their debut album next month, thanks to a European TV ad for Mercedes-Benz. The six-figure fee the Germans paid to use the song Wishingbone allowed the band to finance the album.That was something that "certainly lent some weight to the band when we started talking to potential partners around the world", the band's manager, Troy Barrott, said.Barrott, who also manages Megan Washington and Dappled Cities, argues that there is not the same stigma about advertising dollars today.That is partly generational for, as one prominent manager put it, "I suspect most younger people actually see everything as marketing music, politics, sex so they don't judge you on whether you're marketing, they judge you on whether you're marketing well.""Every one of my clients is steadfastly protective [of their work], intellectual and caring while being open-minded to exploring opportunities," Barrott said.It's not open slather, though. While Kelly and Carmody agreed to license From Little Things Big Things Grow for a superannuation fund as it was a non-profit organisation looking after union money, they would not allow the original recording to be used.Still, when people are not buying as much music and so little income is derived by musicians "there can't be frustration or guilt as a result of earning a living", said Alex Cameron of the electronic band Seekae, whose song Herodotus has been the soundtrack to a car ad."There are boundaries that we wouldn't cross certainly promoting a product with your music needs to be the result of a considered decision. But on most days, we need the money," Cameron said. "It can also be a good way of extending the life of your music."Certainly the life of Alex Lloyd's ARIA-winning song Amazing has extended beyond his local career after being licensed for at least three separate ad campaigns.Brisbane's Kate Miller-Heidke helped pay for months of international touring from the proceeds of a song from a mostly ignored side-project she released last year. That song Are You Ready? has been used to advertise New York lotteries, Target stores in the US, and a British DVD rental chain. And on Tuesday, a new pitch was received by her manager.