2) October – HP pulls ‘Do you want to touch me’ Gary Glitter
The US based computer firm used a cover version of Glitter’s 1973 song ‘Do You Wanna Touch Me’ to promote its TouchSmart TV and he could have received up to £100,000 in royalties.
Gary Glitter (real name Paul Francis Gadd) was returned to the UK in August after spending 27 months in a Vietnam jail for abusing two young girls in 2006. Needless to say his popularity in Europe waned after the child sexual abuse scandal broke.
The advert is being screened across America as part of a new marketing campaign, but has now been pulled in the UK and is under review in other markets. The US heads were warned of the potential issue of releasing the ad in Europe for this very reason, but the decision was taken to go ahead.
Behind the news:
As a UK citizen, Gary Glitter’s notoriety is more pronounced in UK and Europe than in the US. The sentiments against him are so strong that this ad was boycotted despite the fact that the actual version in the ad was sung by Joan Jett.
No one anywhere in the world is going to condone child abuse. So any direct association to a convicted child abuser is likely going to lead to controversy, especially when the felon in question will be paid a hefty sum in royalties.
The completely valid counter argument of course is that this should be about music and not about the person behind it. Irrespective of Glitter’s dubious character, he has written a successful song. The reality for many consumers, however, is that the mere association with such a despicable act is enough to turn people off.
© Textappeal 2009