A Little Less Conservative

The Conservative Party, whose elderly and buttoned-down bedrock voters might have been just the types to be appalled by Elvis 40 years ago, last month unveiled the king's "A Little Less Conversation" as the theme song for its campaign for a national election expected next spring. "Few people would expect the Tories to use an Elvis Presley song but one of the things that we wanted to do was add a little humor," says Charles Hendry, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. The party considered numerous other songs from artists including the Beatles as well as patriotic tunes, he says, adding: "Elvis is a global icon now." As icons go, he is also relatively cheap - a major reason why advertisers are so keen to use his image. U.K. marketers don't have to pay royalties to use digitally altered images of dead celebrities under British trademark laws, says Todd Morgan, director of media and creative development at Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., the business entity created by the Estate of Elvis Presley/The Elvis Presley Trust, whose sole owner is the singer's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. Advertisers in the U.S. must pay for such use, he says. And the company charges everyone, including the British, for using Elvis's recordings, negotiating the price depending on the song and how much is played, Morgan says. He declines to specify. Elvis Presley Enterprises welcomes the advertising dollars. A few years ago, the company sent information to marketers alerting them that Elvis was available.
Source: Google / Updated: Oct 29, 2004 
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