Beatles' legacy could be tarnished as bosses allow hit to be used for nappy advert

Last updated at 08:48 03 January 2008

A deal struck by music bosses who own the Beatles' back catalogue will see one of the group's most famous hits used in a nappy advertising campaign.

The move is bound to spark a frenzy of offers among advertising companies who have so far only been able to use a handful of songs and only provided they are recorded by other performers.

But bosses in charge of one of the most valuable back catalogues in music history have now decided to open the library up to advertisers, inviting them to use the songs, which have been fiercly protected.

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However, fans will be concerned that the deal struck by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who own rights to more than 250 Beatles' songs, will see one of the groups most identifiable songs used in a nappy advert.

Advertising company Proctor and Gamble is overseeing the campaign for Luv's nappies whose tagline is 'All you need is Luv's'.

It is not known how much the deal is worth, but a Microsoft campaign which used the Rolling Stones classic 'Start Me Up' cost the software company £5million.

At present, the remaining members of the group or their families have no say in deals to use the Beatles music as the band lost control of the back catalogue in 1969.

However, bosses at Sony/ATV reassured fans that the decision to allow the deal had been carefully considered and that any future offers would be discussed with Sir Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr and late Beatle Geaorge Harrison's family.

During 1969, the band's Northern Songs publishing company was sold to ATV Music before then being sold to Michael Jackson for $47.5million in 1985 - when he outbid Sir Paul.

Jackson then went on to form a partnership with Sony.

However, Sony/ATV chief executive Martin Bandier told The Times: "The thought and the song and the song were ideal for morning TV when young mothers are watching. We thought it very tasteful."

A spokesman for Proctor and Gamble said that using popular songs helped "connect with the consumer and drive emotion for a product or brand."

Twenty years ago, the group sued sportswear giants Nike for $15million after the company used the song Revolution in one of their advertising campaigns.

However, it is thought that more and more songs will now be used as John Lennon's former wife Yoko Ono has already talked about wanting to make the songs more available to younger generations.