Jann Wenner, you officially just got fucked up by Fucked Up and 186 other indie bands and artists that rarely, if ever, grace the editorial content of your mag. But they sure as shit got name-dropped last month in the Camel/Rolling Stone debacle known as the “Indie Rock Universe” poster/Camel advertising section. And guess what? They’re really pissed. I’m talking litigation-level pissed.
In a class action on behalf of all the bands that appeared on the poster, Fucked Up and Xiu Xiu filed suit on Monday against Wenner Media and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco for using their names without permission in “Indie Rock Universe.” (Man, I pity the schmuck who storyboarded and pitched this cross-promotional fiasco to the suits. Good luck on your job search.)
Essentially, the lawsuit claims that Rolling Stone worked with Camel on its Farm ad campaign that targets young, hip smokers in an attempt to reach that ever popular and elusive youth demographic. The “Indie-Rock Universe” poster is wedged between five pages of ads for the Farm, and the plaintiffs’ attorneys will most likely argue that the poster and ads are identical in theme, content and color scheme so that there’s no distinction between the two.
The lawsuit seeks a published admission in Rolling Stone that the artists’ names were used without consent, as well as punitive damages. Under California law, where the suit was filed, this could be $750 per issue of Rolling Stone, per band, which works out to $195.3 billion, the Daily Swarm calculates. What’s more, this suit comes on the heels of a suit recently filed by eight states’ attorneys general against R.J. Reynolds, claiming this campaign violates statutes regarding tobacco advertisting.
The Daily Swarm lists all 186 bands that appeared in the poster here. My favorite band to make the list has to be Fugazi. C’mon guys, fucking Fugazi? Don’t they know anything about music?