Uber-successful British pop stars Faithless were ridiculed by influential online music business journal CMU this week, over their decision to produce the video of their upcoming single Feelin’ Good as a 3 minute TV commercial for Fiat Cars.
CMU sneered ‘Faithless popped out of their luxury apartment in Sell Out Alley’, in response to the band’s explanation that they’ve teamed up with the car company to ‘reach different audiences’ and described Fiat marketing chief Elena Bernardelli’s comments describing Faithless and the car as ‘equal partners’ as ‘likely to cause you to be a little bit sick in your mouth.’
Faithless’ decision to team up with Fiat came 15 years after Moby transformed the music business by licensing every single track off album Play to commercials, going on to sell 10 million units of the previously dead-in-the-water record.
Chatting about the experience to Q magazine in 1999 he admitted he and his label Mute Records approached licensing ‘in a fairly indiscriminate way’ initially, confessing ‘any movie, any television show, any commercial that wanted to license the music - we would say yes to everything.” Four years later he was more reflective, telling the Guardian he’d been a ‘big soft wussy hypocrite.’
"It would have been gross hypocrisy if I'd let my music be used in ads in 1992 . . . I was much more ideologically militant then,” Moby told Simon Hattenshawe. “The only way I can accommodate it is by saying, yes, I'm a hypocrite and so are you and so is everybody, so let's all just stop getting upset with each other."
Last year, however, he’d backtracked almost full circle answering ‘probably not’ when quizzed if he’d be licensing songs from his latest album ‘Wait for Me’ to commercials.
“I got so crucified for doing it with my other records that I probably won’t do it again,” he told Prefix Magazine.
“It is one of my few real regrets in my career, because it shifted focus from my music and to the business aspect. I’ll still license to movies and television, but I won’t be doing any more commercials,” he said.