The misappropriation of The Dead Kennedys ‘Too Drunk Too Fuck’ by the advertising industry has blown up in the bigwig’s faces.
We can see the Cheshire cat grin of the wonderful Jello Biafra stretching even further as an ironic cover by Nouvelle Vague of the Kennedys classic that was featured in a Kronenbourg 1664 online promotion has been dropped after a complaint to the alcohol industry marketing watchdog that it encouraged binge drinking.
Now, while we don’t care about bands using their music on ads- but are happy for the debate to rumble on as long as everyone remembers that The Fall and other hipster bands have been used on ads and that John Peel voiced loads of ads in their arguments. Bands are generally skint and need the money and even if Jello would have been dead against the usage of the track the rest of band would have pushed it through. I’m surprised the DK’s track sneaked through though- for the title alone it was obvious that it was not going to play ball but somehow it was included on Heineken’s Kronenbourg 1664 campaign featured banner advertisements on popular music site Spotify. The ads directed music lovers to a special Kronenbourg “slowed down” playlist as part of a campaign by the beer brand called “Slow the Pace”.
‘Too Drunk Too Fuck’ was on the playlist and received a complaint about the promotion and the use of the track because the “track name and lyrics referenced drinking to excess, thereby associating the brand with immoderate consumption”.
According to the Guardian newspaper, David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group said
“This demonstrates just how careful companies have to be when marketing alcohol. We were pleased that the company took immediate action to remove the track from the play list. As soon as the complaint was brought to its attention Heineken has also introduced more rigorous approval procedures as a result.”
That’s the moral high ground covered then!