’80s Band Contemplating Legal Action Against Rove Group

An Obama-bashing commercial by Karl Rove’s Super PAC appears to sample from an ’80s electronica hit — but Yello did not approve this message.

Swiss electronica band, Yello — whose biggest hit, “Oh yeah,” was made famous in the final scene of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off— are objecting to what sounds like a sample of the track in an anti-Obama ad this week.

The commercial, titled “Cool,” was released by Karl Rove’s Super PAC American Crossroads, and mocks President Obama for being an ineffectual “celebrity.” Throughout the ad, a deep-voiced “Oh yeah,” similar to the one in Yello’s song, is repeated three times.

“Yello were not asked, and would not have given permission for such a political campaign,” band spokesman Peter Vizthum told BuzzFeed. “We’ll have the legal options checked here.”

But the issue may be a red — or perhaps yellow — herring. Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, denied they were using Yello’s sound.

“The audio was taken from a sound effect website, then processed and lowered by 4 half-steps for pitch to produce the desired sound for the video,” Collegio said.

3. The American Crossroads commercial

4. Yello’s “Oh Yeah”

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McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at mckay@buzzfeed.com.

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