5 Songs That Musicians Sued to Keep Out of Ads
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“Heart Attack and Vine” by Tom Waits
Performed (by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins) in: The 1993 Levi’s ad “Procession”
Why the lawsuit? Tom Waits has a firm policy against his songs being used in advertising, and he sued Levi Strauss & Co. in Europe to stop the ad from airing. The result was a full-page apology by Levi’s in Billboard that said, in part, “We meant no offense to Mr. Waits and regret that ‘Heart Attack and Vine’ was used against his wishes and that the commercial caused him embarrassment.”
Bonus litigation: Waits has also successfully challenged Frito-Lay, Audi and Opel for using sound-alikes after he reportedly declined to license his songs for commercials.
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