Ska band irritated by Coke commercial

Coca-Cola Co. may be making an unsigned London ska band famous in Argentina, but the band isn’t happy about it. The band, called 7 Seconds of Love, says Coke used their song “Ninja” and the video that goes with it without permission in a South American commercial for Coca-Cola Light.

The band learned of the advertisement when a fan asked about it. The discovery, lead singer Joel Veitch said, led to “righteous fury followed by deep irritation.”

“Initially, we didn’t think much about it, because we don’t get Argentine television here,” Veitch said. “It was when it turned up on the Internet that we went, `Oh my god.'”

“To sound like us is OK. To look like us is OK. But it’s the two together where it becomes a problem,” he said.

The band doesn’t want to take Coca-Cola to court, Veitch said, and couldn’t afford a legal battle anyway because of their “extremely shallow pockets.” Also, all the band’s members have day jobs.

“The Coca-Cola Light spot in question was commissioned to a local advertising agency, Santo Buenos Aires SA, which assured Coca-Cola Argentina that each element of the advertisement was original,” Kelly Brooks, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, said Wednesday.

“Coca-Cola de Argentina acted in good faith in accepting the work, but in light of the allegations has asked Santo Buenos Aires to fully research and resolve this matter.”

Veitch said 7 Seconds of Love wanted to reach a sensible settlement with Coca-Cola.

“They could have just called us,” Veitch said, “and we would have happily made it for them.”

Via Y!MusicĀ 

Whitney’s outfits, gear to be auctioned

Whitney HoustonFew people can sing like Whitney Houston. But next week, anyone with some spare cash can dress like the Grammy winner, right down to one of her black velvet bustiers, and croon into one of her microphones. Those items and more than 300 others from a 1999 world tour, including grand pianos, drum kits and a forklift, will be auctioned Tuesday in an effort to cover unpaid storage fees on the gear and clothing, said Jeffrey Campisi, a lawyer for Speed of Sound, a company that has been tending to the equipment.

The tour gear, which includes speakers, amplifiers and a vintage barber chair along with designer clothes, has been stored in Irvington since the tour, Campisi said.

Speed of Sound went to court in May after not receiving payments from Houston’s company, Nippy Inc., for a year. The company is now owed $175,000 to $200,000, Campisi said Wednesday.

He couldn’t estimate what the auction might bring, but said any excess money will go to Nippy.

Nippy lawyer Michael J. Connolly referred a reporter to Houston spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer, who didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday.

In recent comments to newspapers, Seltzer has said the auction is being held to dispose of outdated equipment and costumes that are no longer needed.

Houston, 43, a Newark native, is divorcing singer Bobby Brown after 14 stormy years of marriage. Some of his music awards will be on the same auction block.

The home that Brown, 37, and Houston once shared in Alpharetta, Ga., near Atlanta, went on the market in November.

She avoided a sheriff’s sale of her New Jersey mansion after falling more than $1 million behind on the mortgage and accumulating $83,000 in unpaid taxes. A deal has been reached on the mortgage and the taxes on the 10-acre Mendham estate have been paid, Morris County authorities said.

Houston has been living in Los Angeles, working on an album.

The auction Tuesday will be at the Irvington warehouse, but gawkers beware: It will cost $100 to enter the building. Winning bidders must deposit at least 25 percent of the price immediately, with the balance due before 2 p.m. Wednesday. All payments must be in cash, certified funds, cashier’s checks, money orders or business checks accompanied by an irrevocable bank letter of guarantee, according to the auctioneer, A.J. Willner Auctions.

Campisi said that despite spending years in storage, the equipment is in good condition.

“It’s been cleaned up and tested, and it’s ready to go,” he said.

Via Y!Music