MSN ad music cited for similarities to pop song
Similarities between an advertisement for MSN.com and a popular song have been discovered.
While the veryover the way Bing creates its search index continues, questions about Microsoft's originality have cropped up in another place--its advertising.
Music blog Stereogum picked up on a YouTube clip of an MSN.com advertisement that had been posted in late January, and noted that it the background music had been "ripped off" from the popular rock group Arcade Fire.
Below is the MSN ad in question, as well as an embed of Arcade Fire's song "Wake Up."
Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" has appeared in a number of places since its 2005 introduction, including the trailer for the film "Where the Wild Things Are," as well as commercials for last year's Super Bowl, where the band famously licensed the song to provide proceeds to Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
A Microsoft representative told CNET that "the music featured in the MSN ad was a commissioned original piece."
Microsoft is, of course, no stranger to licensing music for its commercials. The company is rumored to have paid several million for the rights to The Rolling Stones' 1981 single "Start Me Up" as part of its Windows 95 campaign. More recently the company has used bands like N.E.R.D. as part of its Zune campaign, as well as pieces like Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite" conducted by Leonard Bernstein as part of its "Really?" campaign for Windows Phone 7.
Update at 4:24 p.m. PT with comment from Microsoft.