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Audi settles ad dispute with Eminem

Audi settles 'Imported From Detroit' ad dispute with Eminem

July 29, 2011

Detroit charities have emerged as the victor in a dispute between Audi AG and Eight Mile Style LLC, the company that licenses Detroit rapper Eminem's songs, after Audi released a commercial in May that appeared to rip off of Eminem's "Imported from Detroit" Chrysler spot.

"Audi has tremendous respect for Eminem and his works, and likewise for the 'Imported From Detroit' campaign which was created by Chrysler, and certainly Audi would never wish to insult or harm those parties or their fans and customers," the German automaker said Friday in a statement.

Terms of the settlement weren't released, but as part of the agreement--which both parties said was reached "amicably"--Audi said it would "support the revitalization of Detroit by contributing to selected social projects."

Audi didn't specify which organizations would benefit, but Joel Martin, of Eight Mile Style told the Detroit Free Press that a project "will be announced soon."

"Just like 'Imported from Detroit' helped benefit charities like the Marshall Mathers Foundation, we as Eminem's publisher can give back to Detroit," Martin said, according to the newspaper. In the statement, Audi said that "the recognition of the Intellectual Property Rights of third parties is a very important part of Audi's corporate philosophy."

An Audi spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment.

The commercial shows a man driving the A6 Avant around the darkened streets of a German city. The camera zooms in on the driver and then pans to the passing cityscape. A guitar riff--strikingly similar to Eminem's "Lose Yourself"--plays menacingly in the background.

The controversial Audi spot debuted at a May 18 press event in Berlin and proceeded to go viral online. The commercial never was broadcast in the United States, but a copy of the commercial uploaded to YouTube had more than 2 million views as of Friday morning.


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