MusicFirst Takes Swipe At Radio With Name-Calling Campaign
Ad Depicts 'Big Radio' As 'Piggish'
March 10, 2010 at 11:15 AM (PT)
The battle over a performance royalty for radio has just been taken up a notch or three, as the NAB's barrage of free spots decrying a radio "tax" that goes to "giant record companies" in "foreign countries" had prompted THE MUSICFIRST COALITION to publish a full page-ad in a WASHINGTON, D.C. political paper and launched a website that casts "big radio" as pigs devouring its own bailout.
CNBC.COM reports that, according to MEDIA MONITOR data, the NAB's 60-second spot against the performance royalty bill had been aired for free on radio stations nationwide almost 35,000 times over a recent 10-day period. The MFC responded by popping for a print ad in the CAPITOL HILL paper ROLL CALL, which depicted a pig with an antenna for a tail and its head buried in a pail labeled "Bailout Funds," which was complemented by the airing of a likewise radio spot on a local WASHINGTON, D.C. station and the launching of a new website, piggyradio.com.
It's no surprise that RIAA is now employing silly frat-boy stunts, given its well-documented practice of suing college kids to rescue a bankrupt business model
"We just want to make a couple of points” with the ads, MUSICFIRST spokesperson MARTY MACHOWSKY told CNBC. "The broadcasters have the free use of airwaves and are making billions of dollars each year without paying artists."
To which, NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON responded with the following statement:
"It's no surprise that RIAA is now employing silly frat-boy stunts, given its well-documented practice of suing college kids to rescue a bankrupt business model. It also seems appropriate for RIAA to use an inflatable pig as its mascot, since its foreign-owned members would be the biggest beneficiaries of performance tax pork. RIAA is losing this issue on CAPITOL HILL and in the court of public opinion, and today's demonstration represents a new low in a campaign of utter desperation."
Who's winning the performance royalty war ... perceptually and in reality? Will the escalation of inflammatory rhetoric prevent any sort of compromise? Should there even be one? Sound off here!