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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Ad deal connects bands and brands
Scissor Sisters
The chart-topping Scissor Sisters are on Universal's books
Universal, the world's largest music company, has formed a venture with advertising group WPP to specialise in licensing music for commercials.

London-based BrandAmp will be owned 50-50 by the two firms.

For Universal artists, who range from the Scissor Sisters to Stevie Wonder, it is an opportunity for extra revenue beyond music sales and concerts.

Under the deal, WPP, which counts Ford and IBM among its clients, gets access to Universal's massive back catalogue.

"This new venture makes sense on many levels," said chief executive of Universal's international division, Lucian Grainge.

"It brings together two creative communities which are driven by innovation and imagination."

WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell told BBC News it allowed a "much closer relationship" between the two firms.

"It gives us direct access to a colossal back catalogue, from pop to jazz, that spans the whole world," he said.

Money-spinner

While it is usually cheaper to compose music specifically for an advert than to buy publishing and recording rights, the latter route is often favoured by advertising agencies who can associate a brand with an artist or group, industry observers said.

As well as being money-spinners for existing artists, television commercials can also help launch unknown acts.

Aqualung's song, Strange and Beautiful became a number one hit after it featured on an advert for the VW Beetle, while Jose Gonzalez found fame on the back of a commercial for the Sony Bravia television.

Other tunes have become inextricably linked to advertising campaigns - for example the Dandy Warhol's hit Bohemian Like You which has featured heavily in Vodafone commercials.

The Apple iTunes Music Store even has a section devoted to songs used in adverts.

Earlier this year, Jack White of The White Stripes wrote a song specifically for a Coca-Cola commercial - earning him critics in the industry for "selling out".




SEE ALSO
Universal to buy BMG publishing
06 Sep 06 |  Business
Universal backs free music offer
29 Aug 06 |  Business
Web helps WPP to 30% profit jump
18 Aug 06 |  Business

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