Artists' music being used in commercials was once a touchy subject. And it is still is, but to a lesser degree nowadays than in bygone decades, it seems. It also depends on what context the music is used and what exact song by which artist is being utilized. Some commercially popular music is just geared to be a jingle. But traditionally the typical "serious" artist felt lending their art in exchange for cash as the soundtrack to some shallow TV commercial geared to sell (the word "pimp" would often be used) cars or washing detergent was the ultimate sellling of your soul to "the man."
And of course, if said artist's music is reactionary, revolutionary, anti-authoritarian, protest type music, it really is contradictory to have it included in a cheesy TV ad -- hence the reason Jello Biafra
fought so hard against his litigating former friends/bandmates who he insisted were trying hard to make a quick buck by selling the rights of the Dead Kennedys
' song "Holiday In Cambodia" to be used in a Levi's
But even less politically overt artists than Biafra are against their music being used in commericals. Still, there are exceptions to every rule. A good example is Jack White,
who has long been opposed to the White Stripes'
music being sold for use in a commercial. Reportedly over the years he and his bandmate
have been approached many times and turned down the offers to use the Stripes' music in commercials. But he wasn't opposed to composing a whole new song for a TV commercial a few years ago; he penned the sixties Brit psychedelic inflected tune called "Love Is The Truth" (reminiscent of the Small Faces' hit "Itchycoo Park
") with the repeated lyrics "Love is the truth/ It's the right thing to do," to be used in a Coca Cola