'Cash' and Payola

By Londonist_Silvia Last edited 156 months ago
'Cash' and Payola

Entertainment titans Sony have been keeping buskers in payola as part of a marketing plan.

We would normally be shocked and horrified by this revelation; however, if you think back to November of last year, we told you about the Johnny Cash tribute day when the buskers that grace London Underground were being paid to play Johnny Cash songs to mark a Greatest Hits release.

Well, it's happening again, this time as part of a promotional tie-in with Cash biopic Walk the Line starring Joaquin Phoenix as The Man in Black, and Reese 'Sharp Chin' Witherspoon as June Carter.

After the pre-Christmas trial worked a treat and sales increased, Sony BMG coughed up a whopping £5,100 to 34 buskers to play two hours of Cash's classics per day over three days, as well as getting them to wear black togs to remind commuters of the film and greatest hits album.

£5,100? Cost us a cheeky grin, 50 pence for Last Train To Trancentral and then we had to hum it too. Why buskers don't play Johnny Cash anyway is worrying. James Blunt? Give us strength.

This isn't the first time busking's been utilised as a marketing tool. Travis - allegedly - created this idea, and it was also used - successfully - to promote the Love Actually soundtrack. If the CD's as bad as the film then it needs earplugs, not money.

Faceless large conglomerate tries new, hip advertising for people to buy albums. It's an absolute shocker - this could never happen on a regular basis. (Of course not - Legally minded Ed)

Last Updated 23 January 2006