Duran Duran Pulls a Morrissey on Yoplait

According to Slicing Up Eyeballs Duran Duran issued a statement condemning the use of their hit "hungry Like The Wolf" in a Yoplait ad.

In a statement on their website, they had this to say:

Many of you have written to us, voicing your dismay about the recent license of our song Hungry Like the Wolf, to a yoghurt commercial. Please know, Duran Duran do not support this usage of their music and unfortunately, this particular license was granted without any prior notification to any of us. Had we known, under no circumstances would we have backed it.

Thankfully, the ad has now been taken off the air and moving forward we hope to avoid any further situations like this.

Now to be absolutely clear, this had nothing to do with music licensing or the usual shenanigans we've been writing about here as of late. No it's waaaay weirder.

See, apparently some people went ballistic on Yoplait's Facebook Page over hearing the song in the spot because it reminded them of an infamous murder case involving one Diane Downs, who shot her kids in a car while singing "hungry Like The Wolf." One of the poor children died. So Yoplait, being the good spineless brand it is, yanked the ad and then apologized on Facebook.

We're so sorry our ad upset you. When we chose the song, we had no idea of its connection to this terrible event. We take your feedback seriously, and yes, we have decided to remove this ad from the air while we consider other versions. Please know that it may take a couple of days until the ad is fully removed. We're again sorry that it's upset you and promise there was no intention to cause such disappointment.

You know what? I hadn't either. Because it was thirty years ago. I was barely out of diapers then, and the majority of people seeing the commercial do not have that context in mind. And I'm not trying to be macabre about it but maybe if Diane Downs had been snacking on Yoplait and singing "Hungry Like The Wolf," or if The Yoplait Commercial in question featured a woman in a car with her three children sining along, then I could see the American Public and Duran Duran's outrage. But Diane Downs wasn't eating Yoplait when she shot her kids. And Yoplait didn't use anything referencing the murders in the commercial. (I can't believe I just wrote that sentence.)

More importantly Duran Duran happily licensed the song to Old Spice so that Bruce Campbell could sing it. Oh and the fucking song is played a bazillion times a day, without anyone complaining. I don't see Duran Duran demanding the song be shunned like a wayward Amish girl. But this is advertising in America. At the first hint of controversy, no matter how irrational, and no matter how small the number of complaints, one must cave.

Oh yeah, if you want to see the offensive commercial, of course we have it here.

If I were Yoplait, I'd stop apologizing. I'd say "You know what, fuckers? We've given millions of dollars to breast cancer charity, so fuck off." Then I'd replace the Duran Duran track with Helter Skelter, and air it twenty four hours a day.

AnonymousCoward's picture
Dina Kourda's picture

What's the Morrissey reference?

Yoplait may give millions to breast cancer but dairy is still the number 1 risk factor for breast cancer. Need yogurt? Get it vegan and reduce your risk to breast cancer. And please stop supporting breast cancer charities which are no more than research fronts for big pharma who cut open live animals without anesthesia.

kidsleepy's picture

You are the Morrissey reference.

Lucy's picture

I agree that the controversy over the Downs case is stupid and I am old enough to remember it, but the difference between the Yoplait ad and the Old Spice ad, was that the Yoplait ad featured the original Duran Duran song. Bruce Campbell or anyone else can do a cover version without the band's permission as long as they pay for the music rights, but you can't use the original without the band's permission. Burger King has been after them to use "Hungry Like The Wolf" in an ad for years, and the band never gave permission. So it could be the controversy over the Downs case just made them aware it was being used, I doubt they gave their permission and then backpedaled.

Katy's picture

who wrote this? the band's statement has NOTHING to do with Diane Down's whatsoever and because you got your information from a third party website, you're now repeating incorrect information. journalist?

Dabitch's picture