Pumpkins to sue EMI/Virgin over Pepsi Stuff promotion

April 2008

Artists, record labels

The Smashing Pumpkins are suing Virgin Records alleging that the label has breached its contract with the band by using the band’s name and music in promotional deals without their permission. The band allege that this has hurt the band’s image credibility with fans. The lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and the group say they have “worked hard for over two decades to accumulate a considerable amount of goodwill in the eyes of the public,” and that Virgin’s use of the band in a “Pepsi Stuff” promotion with Amazon.com and Pepsi Co. threatens their reputation for “artistic integrity.” Pepsi Stuff was an MP3 giveaway promotion in the US which was designed to promote the launch of Amazon’s DRM-free download service. Three of the majors made tracks available for the promotion, which music fans could download for free in return for vouchers from Pepsi bottles and the like. The band claim that their agreement with Virgin does not give Virgin the right to use the band in promotional campaigns to sell outside products. The lawsuit demands that Virgin pay with the profits earned in the promotion and asks for an injunction against using the Pumpkins’ name or music in the future.


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