Duran Duran issued a statement Saturday acknowledging they’ve heard their fans’ “dismay” over the use of the band’s 1982 smash single “Hungry Like the Wolf” in a new TV commercial for Yoplait-brand yogurt, saying the group “does not support this usage of their music” and that the license was granted without the band’s knowledge.
“Had we known,” Duran Duran writes, “under no circumstances would we have backed it.” The band notes that the commercial — which can be seen in full below — has been taken off the air.
But in its statement — which can also be read in full below — Duran Duran doesn’t say the ad was pulled because of the licensing issues with its music. In fact, it would appear it’s the 30-year-old song’s connection to a notorious murder case that led Yoplait to stop airing the 30-second spot this past week.
On the yogurt maker’s Facebook page, a number of people posted complaints in recent days about the use of “Hungry Like the Wolf” because of its connection to the Diane Downs murder case 30 years ago. In May 1983, Downs shot her three children in the back of her car in Springfield, Ore., killing one of them. “Hungry Like the Wolf” was playing on the car’s radio at the time.
Initially, Yoplait reps responded by defending the song’s use, writing:
“We chose the music because it’s a popular song that felt right for this ad. The Yoplait team has discussed this quite a bit and found that the large majority of people have only positive connections to this song, given that the Diane Downs incident was more than 30 years ago.”
By late this past week, though, Yoplait had changed its tune, saying the ad was being removed from the air:
“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.”
Below, you can read Duran Duran’s full statement and watch the offending yogurt ad.
A Message from Duran Duran
January 11th, 2014
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.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Duran Duran’s ’80s output compiled on new 2CD collection ‘The Biggest and the Best’
- Duran Duran reveals tracklist, cover art for ‘A Diamond in the Mind’ live CD/DVD/Blu-ray
- Video: Trailer for Duran Duran’s ‘A Diamond in the Mind’ — live DVD, CD due this summer
- Free MP3: Duran Duran, ‘Other People’s Lives’ (Night Version)
- Download: Full Duran Duran concert recorded at RDS Radio in Rome, Italy
I’m not sure why you’re linking this song to a murder….I mean, is it really that perplexing that Hungry Like the Wolf would be playing on the radio in 1983 (via radio station or tape/record)? SHAME on Yoplait for not asking permission to use this timeless classic of a song!
I just saw the commercial; apparently it has not been pulled. Does Duran Duran have an issue with Michael Kors using “Girls on Film” in a commercial as well?
They gave permission for the Michael Kors ad, that’s the difference.
I LOVE that they used that song. Another ad for another product used Girls On Film. I am still a huge Duran Duran fan, and love hearing their music when I can. It brings back some great memories.
I was a little dismayed when I saw it. However, it’s a quick buck for bands like Duran, Blondie, New Order, etc. to make. I’m not mad that their management was trying to squeeze some money out of a 30 year old song.
Who is buying this BS? They got paid for the use of it. Just say “We needed some more funding for the new record, our bad” and be honest about it.
French models? Yes. French yogurt? Not so much so.
In other words, someone else has the ability to license the song without the band’s permission and all they can do is complain online.
Just saw the ad a few minutes ago too.
This comes down to basic licensing of music. Most acts use a service to grant rights to use music or cover it, and the band has very little say about what gets used once it has placed it’s music in this scenario. This means the band doesn’t need to be asked by yoplait to use the song but they do see a profit from its usage.
You mean people actually wasted mental energy being angry about this non-issue? Wow.
I never saw the commercial until now. I liked it and will buy more Yoplait. Thanks Duran Duran!
the song was indeed playing when Diane Downs shot her children according to the movie but if the song is tied to that only and makes Duran Duran nervous it needs to not be added to any 80’s compilations. I in fact was excited to hear the song being used for a yogurt ad..great marketing! It should make people who grew up listening to the group buy more yogurt! Think about it Duran Duran!