Bush whacking: Moby readies next commercial move

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After years of licensing his music to commercials, techno-music maker Moby is ready to try his hand at political advertising.

Moby has joined forces with the campaigning liberal Web site moveon.org to support a competition aimed at finding a filmmaker who can articulate everything that's wrong with the Bush administration in a 30-second spot.

Moby, aka Richard Hall, told Advertising Age: "The media, for the most part, hasn't done much to draw light to the failed policies." He claims the Democratic Party has largely ignored the creative community, seeing Hollywood as a source of funding rather than a powerful creative force.

The winning ad will be selected by a panel of judges that Moby helped enlist, including actor Jack Black, comic Janeane Garofalo, filmmaker Michael Moore, director Gus Van Sant and musician Michael Stipe.

"It's safe to say many of the people making ads, movies and writing books are young and liberal and left-leaning. I'm sure there are people who are working away in an art department waiting to get their work recognized. This is a chance to do something for your country and receive some self-promotion."

Moby would like the winning ad to air during the president's State of the Union address early next year.

Moby said he would even submit a few ads himself. He directed the DVD that accompanies his new album, 18 B Sides, due for release Nov. 4.

The artist said he's been hanging out with director Michele Gondry, who has opened his eyes to the advertising field. Mr. Gondry won a Golden Lion for his 1994 Levi's commercial "Drugstore," directed the movie "Human Nature" and produced Bjork's "Human Behavior" video.

But at the same time, Moby said he's cut back on the amount of music he's prepared to license to commercial endeavors. His songs have been licensed to sell everything from Bailey's Irish Cream to American Express to department store Nordstrom.

`sonic wallpaper'

Moby's multiplatinum award-winning music was described by Wired as "sonic wallpaper," and is hugely popular with marketers. He's received in excess of 400 commercial-use applications, though now, he said, "I've slowed down a bit. I got criticized for letting it be used in advertising. But on a selfish level, I'd rather have them use my music than someone else's."

Moby's love affair with Apple Computer technology continues. Some time in November or December, he's due to do an in-store question and answer session at the Prince Street Apple store in New York, just blocks from his home.

When asked if he'd try his hand at creating an advertising campaign, he replied, "My only problem is that I have no experience," though he seems interested to give it a go. "My plate is full but who knows? There is so much creativity in the world of advertising."

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