John Lennon appearance in car ad stirs controversy

Fri Mar 5, 2010 1:00am EST
 
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By Monica Herrera

NEW YORK (Billboard) - A new Citroen commercial that's airing on U.K. television features old footage of John Lennon, and now Beatles fans are wondering whether Yoko Ono made the right decision in allowing the French car company to use her late husband's image.

 In the ad -- made for Citroen's new "anti-retro" DS-3 model -- Lennon is shown criticizing people who rehash the past in their own work. "Once a thing's been done it's been done, so while this nostalgia -- I mean for the '60s and '70s, you know, looking backwards for inspiration, copying the past -- how's that rock 'n' roll?" Lennon says. "Do something of your own. Start something new, you know? Live your lives now. Know what I mean?"

In response to the controversy, Lennon and Ono's son Sean Lennon took to his Twitter page and explained the thought process behind his mother's decision. "She did not do it for money," Lennon said. "Has to do (with) hoping to keep dad in public consciousness. No new LPs, so TV ad is exposure to young."

"Having just seen (the) ad I realize why people are mad," Lennon added. "But (our) intention was not financial, (it) was simply wanting to keep him out there in the world."

When one of Lennon's Twitter followers argued that the public is still very much aware of who the Beatles are (Thank you, "Beatles Rock Band"), Lennon countered, "You wouldn't believe how many teenagers ask me who the Beatles were."