R.E.M. Camp Reacts To "Superman" Song Use In Commercial

Those familiar with R.E.M. know that throughout its career the band has refused frequent offers to license its songs to advertisers for use in commercials.

Some of those down with that policy were no doubt bowled over then last weekend when a new commercial for Lotus Notes turned up during NFL playoff broadcasts. The ad, which featured solitary figures in crowded street scenes holding signs that read, "I am," featured a new recording of "Superman," a song that turned up on R.E.M.'s 1986 album "Life's Rich Pageant."

Those quick to shout 'sell out,' however, did not read the fine print. While R.E.M. scored a college radio hit with the song in 1986, it was in fact first recorded by a 60s group called the Clique and written by Mitchell Bottler and Brandon Chase, alias Gail Zeckley.

R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs told MTV News that he's received about 50 phone calls about the commercial, and notes that since R.E.M. doesn't own publishing rights to the song, "There's not a darn

thing we can do about it."

As for Ogilvy and Mather, the agency that brainstormed the ad, a spokesman gleefully told MTV News that it was "a relief" to discover the R.E.M.-associated tune was actually a cover.

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