Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 9.33.16 AM 1Well, that was quick.

GoldieBlox has pulled the parody of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls” from its latest ad, saying that the company doesn’t want to fight with the band. The company recently filed a lawsuit to attempt to secure its ability to use the song, after the band’s lawyers sent GoldieBlox “threats” surrounding the company’s use of the parody.

In an open letter to the band, Debbie Sterling, GoldieBlox’s founder, said that the company was ready to stop the lawsuit “as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from (the Beastie Boys’) legal team.”

Sterling, a former Seattle resident, said that the company meant well, and that the song’s message had already helped girls.

“We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls,” she said. “Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.”

The company has taken down the video with Beastie Boys’ song, and replaced it with this version.

While some have argued that GoldieBlox doesn’t need the Boys’ permission to run the song, part of the company’s change of heart may have to do with the last wishes of one of the Beastie Boys. Adam Yauch, the third member of the Beastie Boys who went by the stage name MCA, died of salivary gland cancer in May of 2012, and wrote in his will that the band’s music was never to be used in commercial advertising.

Yauch was 47 when he died, and the tragic nature of his passing may have something to do with GoldieBlox’s reluctance to continue with the song. While the company said that they didn’t know a prohibition on advertising was written into his will, they wanted to respect those wishes. More than anything, the company wants to move forward.

“We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles,” Sterling said. “We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.”

A full version of the letter follows below.

Dear Adam and Mike,

We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.

When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.

Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.

We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.

Sincerely,

Debbie + Team GoldieBlox

Previously on GeekWire: GoldieBlox sues Beastie Boys surrounding parody ad related to hit song ‘Girls’

Comments

  • Guest

    Thank you, Golds. The Beastie Boys are committed to non-commercial use of their music, and your cessation of commandeering their music to sell your toys is to be admired.

    I approve of this decission.

  • Spin that marketing

    While we’re on the topic of objectifying women, is it just me, or are the girls wearing makeup in at least the final scene? And it appears their products are made in China. It’s good to see GoldieBlox promoting the Chinese economy, because we all know just how much respect their government has for women and children.

  • PT Barnum

    Seems GoldieBlox shamelessly cashing in on a current trend (girls + tech) and unwilling to pay for copyright material. Baby Einstein with music. +1 for marketing talent, -2 for cynicism.

  • Marky Marketing

    I agree with Spin-that-Marketing’s post. Furthermore, the toy is the same pastel pink gender binary straitjacket that the commercial is supposed to be overcoming.

    • Guest

      This entire story of events has lead me to avoid buying the Goldieblox product for my daughters. They’ve shown what they really are about, money. They could give a damn less about helping break down the gender gap in engineering. I would not be surprised if I worked with one of these marketing / ad world people in the past and was disgusted with them then as I am now. Pathetic.

Job Listings on GeekWork