Black Keys Sue Over Song Advert

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June 10, 2011 | 11:30am EST

The Black Keys have launched a legal battle with an advertising agency over allegations their Grammy-winning song Tighten Up was used in a commercial without permission.
The blues-rock duo and their Nonesuch Records label have filed suit against executives at the New York-based Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners company, claiming they used the track to promote New Jersey’s Valley National Bank (VNB).

Lawyers for the musicians filed two lawsuits, in Nashville, Tennessee and Manhattan, New York, alleging an advert featuring their song aired in February around the time of the Grammy Awards, which saw Tighten Up triumph in the Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals category.

An extract from the Tennessee suit, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, reads, “For at least a two-week period in February 2011 coinciding with the period leading up to and the aftermath of the 2011 Grammy Awards, the Agency and VNB knowingly created and ran a television commercial incorporating significant portions of (Tighten Up) without having sought or obtained a license from Nonesuch to do so.”

Lawyers representing the band and the record label are asking for damages in proportion to the popularity of the hit song, which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart.