Tom Waits sues Opel over "voice theft" in advert

Tom Waits really hates it when his work is used in a commercial, he has made this very clear and he will always say no. He has a long standing policy against using his music or voice in commercials and said in a statement: "Commercials are an unnatural use of my work. It's like having a cow's udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating."

Somehow an Opel ad currently running in Denmark, Sweden and Finland has managed to use a sound-alike to Waits singing a lullaby, possibly thinking that they would get away with it. Alas, Tom Waits fans alerted him to the ad and presto, Opel was served.

Never happy about commercial dilution of his unique style, Tom Waits isn't afraid to sue anyone who might misbehave, in 1994 he sued his own record company for licencing his song "Heartattack and Vine" to a Levis commercial. In '93 it was Frito Lay in the USA who felt Waits wrath. Audi, Germany were sued in 2000 for using a soundalike song and Lancia Italy had a similar case.

In his statement Waits also said:
"If I stole an Opel, Lancia, or Audi, put my name on it and resold it, I'd go to jail. But over there they ask, you say no, and they hire impersonators. They profit from the association and I lose - time, money, and credibility. What's that about?"


Opel Zafira - Sleepy Ride / Tom Waits

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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