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 very public spat between Microsoft and Google over 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.

Related: Microsoft's new Windows 7 ad: A copy of a copy?

Update at 4:24 p.m. PT with comment from Microsoft.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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