Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

White Stripes take issue with Air Force Reserve commercial

February 9, 2010 | 12:30 pm


The Who were far from the only rock band to take part in Super Bowl Sunday. Acts such as the Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear were featured in advertisements debuting during the big game. Caught by surprise, however, were the White Stripes, who say an instrumental track used in an ad for the Air Force Reserve closely resembles their hit "Fell in Love With a Girl."

The White Stripes have posted a statement on their website and embedded videos of "Fell in Love With a Girl" and the ad, the latter of which is no longer readily available. 

"We believe our song was re-recorded and used without permission of the White Stripes, our publishers, label or management," reads the all-CAPS statement (screen shot below) from the duo of Jack White and Meg James. "The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserves presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support." 

Calls to Blaine Warren Advertising were directed to a press office for the Air Force Reserve. A spokeswoman for the latter stated that the 30-second television spot was created solely for the Super Bowl, and that it was no longer airing. The Air Force Reserve issued the following statement: 

"In response to the claims being made today regarding the Air Force Reserve regional ad that aired in select markets during the Super Bowl; The Air Force Reserve, through its advertising agency, hired Fast Forward Music of Salt Lake City to score original music for its commercial. There was never any intention to utilize any existing music, or to sound like any music by the band White Stripes or any other musical performer. Any similarity or likeness to any other music is completely unintentional."

Though the band stated that it does not support current military endeavors, it did express support for American troops. "We simply don't want to be a cog in the wheel of the current conflict," reads the statement. Read the White Stripes' full comments below, a screen shot taken directly from the band's site:


-- Todd Martens

Photo: The White Stripes. Credit: Kevin P Casey / Los Angeles Times