White Stripes vs. U.S. Air Force Reserve ad: Who's to blame?

The U.S. Air Force Reserve has issued a statement in response to the White Stripes’ allegation that a recruitment ad aired during the Super Bowl used an unauthorized version of their song “Fell in Love With a Girl.” Their answer, in brief: Don’t blame us. “The Air Force Reserve, through its advertising agency, hired Fast Forward Music of Salt Lake City to score original music for its commercial,” the statement reads. “There was never any intention to utilize any existing music, or to sound like any music by the band White Stripes, or any other musical performer. Any similarity or likeness to any other music is completely unintentional. This ad was produced specifically for airing regional during the Super Bowl in some local markets. It was scheduled to be pulled after the Super Bowl. It only ran one time.” A spokesperson also acknowledged that the Air Force Reserve removed the ad from its website today in response to the controversy.

Fast Forward Productions, in turn, is pointing the finger at someone else. “We hired a local musician who does stuff for us in the past,” Fast Forward owner Michael Lee tells EW. “He created the spot. Never had I ever heard the White Stripes song before. What we thought we had was original. He claims it is original. He said he didn’t use [‘Fell in Love With a Girl’], so that’s all I know.”

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more. In the meantime, do the latest statements change your take on this story?

UPDATE: White Stripes/Air Force ad musician addresses controversy: “It’s my responsibility”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (20 total) Add your comment
  • john

    How could you not here that song in one form or another?

    very lame excuse

    • Jason

      Regardless of who they hired to do it, the Air Force needs to take responsibility for the final product that they decided to run on air. Buy purchasing the rights to the advertisement piece, they also accept responsibility for its content.

    • Jason

      *By not Buy*

  • Feiss

    I never heard it before. News flash all Jack White/Stripes philes, they ain’t that great.

    • Jen

      They’re not that great, but that doesn’t detract from your ignorance.

      • Feiss

        What are you smoking, Jen?

    • Erin

      Shut up Feiss. Go watch Twilight or listen to Maroon 5.

      • Feiss

        Erin, baby. Call me sometime. I think we could hit it off. I like assertive women.

    • Brad

      News flash to Feiss… if you haven’t heard their most recognizable song, you probably aren’t in a position to say whether they’re great or not.

      • Feiss

        Hey, man, knock your sox off if you think they’re great. Awesome for you, man.

      • Joe

        News flash Brad… If their most recognized song is not recognized by many then they are obviously some unground one-hit wonder band that is totally irrelevant and attempting to regain lost (ahem) fame by creating controversy to get their name out there again! Is it possible that someone writing music could possibly ever write something that sounds like something else that was written without knowing – duh yeah!

    • mike

      probably this came from a fan of millie vanillie or vanilla ice, the giants of pop music

  • JAM

    Brad, you arse, their most recognizable song to non white stripe-o-files, is 7 nation Army, jerk bag. That was for you Feiss. Oh Jen, youre ignorant if you think someone who hasn’t heard it before is ignorant. I’m actually trying to understand how Feiss is ignorant in this case. Does not ever listening to a song make you ignorant of whether the band sucks, I don’t think so.

  • Lou

    Well, considering Fast Forward owner Michael Lee said, and I quote, “We hired a local musician who does stuff for us in the past” … okay, read that last part again. WHO DOES STUFF OR US IN THE PAST. So if this musician is working in the past, he likely could countersue The White Stripes for stealing HIS original music that he created in the PAST.

    Keeps your brain spinning …

  • Derrick

    Who really cares?

  • CVisca

    Michael Lee needs to learn some grammar. He also needs to learn legality standards for music. Also, don’t just blame it on someone else and then not claim responsibility to get it fixed and to nix that musician. Accountability people.

  • DAO

    They need to get over it. Jack White is a punk. I’ve saw them live and he acted like such a cry baby. Left the stage because a fan stage dove. They’ll try to make some cheap money off of the us the tax payers. Remember we pay for the Military.

  • Kristen

    DAO and others: How is suing for copyright infringement making “cheap money?” You can go around tweaking songs and SELLING them (there’s your cheap money) like they’re your own. Regardless of the fact that you might not like Jack White or The White Stripes, what the composer of the song did was illegal. I don’t know what you guys do for a living, but wouldn’t it really upset you if someone stole your idea and passed it off as his own to the boss? When you copyright something, and someone steals it (however slightly modified) you have legal recourse. Plain and simple.

  • Kristen

    CAN’T should be the second word in the second sentence, obviously.

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