On several occasions in the past, I’ve railed against established artists permitting their music (or images of themselves) to be used in ads. According to Bill Wyman (thanks to AdHack for the pointer), that ship has sailed.
There is no longer even a debate, let alone a stigma. “If you did an advert, you were a sellout,” notes Billboard Executive Editor Tamara Conniff. “The Rolling Stones broke that when they allowed the use of ‘Start Me Up’ for the Windows campaign. Though there was an initial backlash, it suddenly made it okay for bands of integrity to do commercials. Now, it’s almost as if as an artist you don’t have a corporate partner [or] commercial, you’ve not really arrived.”
Mr. Wyman still doesn’t think it’s a very good idea. However, he wants to quantify sellouts, and devise “an objective formula for determining just how offensive a particular rock-based advertisement is”.
Tongue firmly in cheek, he enlists the help of a mathematician. They invent a formula for calculating what he calls the Moby Quotient. Here’s an illustrated version, with a number of examples. The Clash’s “London Calling” selling Jaguars? Bad. Bachman-Turner-Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” selling Office Depot? Not so bad.