Verizon says it's going to “ignite your passions.” If you think that's just kinky advertising hype, you'd be wrong.
Parents whose kids use Verizon's wireless service need to check to see whether their youngsters' passions are being ignited by rapper Akon and his lewd lyrics.
Conservative commentators Laura Ingraham and Michelle Malkin took the lead in taking Verizon to task for contracting with Akon. His notoriety for naughtiness increased after a video of him having simulated sex on stage with a minor girl in
Akon is in trouble for “smacking that” with a teenage concertgoer in
Even so, Verizon's John Harrobin, Vice President of Marketing and New Media, says Akon “has emerged as one of the world's most compelling and exciting stars. His commitment to his artistry and the community enables us to take our partnership with music industry innovators in yet another direction by collaborating on this unique TV advertising campaign.”
Verizon customers can purchase and download three songs and a ringtone from a list of 27 Akon selections. Customers can also choose one of Akon's raunchy raps as a “ringback tone” their friends will hear when they call.
Since Akon's sexcapade with a minor wasn't a disconnect for Verizon, Harrobin and company could probably care less that Akon's “community” includes three wives.
The Senegalese star made the revelation on American DJ Angie Martinez' radio show, but has now been banned from talking about his home life by his record label, who fear a backlash against him. Akon, 25, told
Although Akon has preferred the good life of the
It wasn't his beliefs and thoughts that got Akon three years in prison. “Locked Up,” his Top Ten single from 2004, which is available via Verizon, was “inspired” by the time he served in a
If you don't think that promoting and profiting off of a misogynistic miscreant will “make the world better,” as Verizon claims in its “Code of Conduct,” you might give Verizon a ring. Contact information is available at: www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/contact/index.jsp.
If you think your complaint to Verizon won't make a difference, you'd be wrong again. Verizon has already edited its Web site promotion of Akon. A large photo of him and four songs identified as “explicit” Thursday afternoon were no longer posted Thursday evening.
It's also too late to see the video of the
It doesn't get any more hypocritical than a recording company using federal law to stifle free speech critical of its lewd and lascivious rapper while wrapping the First Amendment around him.
Jan LaRue, Esq. is a member of CMI's Board of Advisers.