Adamantly anti-commercial artist Tom Waits is contemplating legal action over an ad campaign for GM's Opel car line running in Europe's Scandinavian region that reportedly boasts music and a vocal resembling his own. The singer/songwriter learned of the ads through fans who contacted his record label, Anti-, a division of Epitaph.
Waits has previously fought several advertisers who have aped his distinctively graveled voice and avant-garde style for commercial purposes. Among past infringers are car manufacturers Audi (Spain) and Lancia (Italy) and snack manufacturer Frito-Lay for a SalsaRio Doritos radio spot in the United States.
"If I stole an Opel, Lancia or Audi, put my name on it and resold it, I'd go to jail. But over there they ask, you say 'no,' and they hire impersonators. They profit from the association and I lose -- time, money, and credibility. What's that about?"