Could these names be any more made up sounding? First off the National Union of Teachers, or NUT, is blasting UK labels for recruiting school kids to help promote bands. Teachers' union are nuts? The guy who is NUT's head of education is John Bangs. Classic name. He has targeted the Universal roster of labels over marketing methods that he calls "unacceptable." Universal has been recruiting children to promote their bands, including McFly and Busted, in the playground and the classroom, according to today's Guardian. Sounds McExpoitive. Pupils are encouraged to sign up to the kiddie equivalent of street teams and are required to put posters up in their schools and hand out flyers in exchange for the usual free stuff and, if the investigation is to be believed, personal calls from the bands themselves. The kids also partake in the usual teaming activities, such as posting on Internet message boards and making request e-mails to radio stations.
Mr Bangs' displeasure at the label's methods was countered by Universal themselves, who claim that they've been running the "scheme" for some two years, and that the children actually enjoy it. Getting someone to work for free, even if they are underaged, is A-OK with the labels. Imagine that? It's called Stockholm Syndrome, innit? I say Bang gets his NUT all over Busted and McFly so the labels will stop pimping kids. If I had more time I would have had a limerick going. Where is Benny Hill when you need him?
Didn't we all learn from Pink Floyd's refrain, "Hey, labels! Leave them kids alone" or sumtin like that. And to bring the story full circle. The exploitation of those kids singing on "Another Brick In The Wall" in 1979 just re-surfaced with a recent lawsuit regarding royalties owed them. The more things change, the more they stay the same.