Brands & Merch Legal

Black Keys sue ad men over song use

By | Published on Monday 25 June 2012

The Black Keys

More bands v brands now, and The Black Keys have sued both Pizza Hut and Home Depot, claiming the two companies have used their songs in ads without permission.

Pizza Hut and its ad agency are accused of using the song ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ without permission, while US DIY chain Home Depot is accused of using the band’s hit ‘Lonely Boy’. A lawyer for the Ohio duo say the two commercials were a “brazen and improper effort to capitalise on the plaintiffs’ hard-earned success”. They also claim that the band made both brands aware of the unlicensed use of their music last month, but as yet neither company has taken any action.

Pizza Hut, Home Depot and their respective ad agencies are yet to respond. There seems to have been an increasing number of artists crying foul over the uncleared use of their music, or tracks that sound very similar to their music, by advertisers of late, which may be due to miscommunication at the artists’ end (between them and any labels or publishers that administrate their music), a misunderstanding in the ad agency (as to who owns rights), or just incompetence or bad behaviour on the ad men’s part. All of which sound feasible.