If you’ve seen the rather popular punk kittens clips – that’s him – and he’s done commercial work for Virgin, Channel 4, Switch, VH1 and others. He recently got ripped off and not credited for a Coke campaign in Argentina and there’s been a fair amount of publicity about it:
I’m glad he won but what I did find interesting is that the media failed to mention that he is fairly well known in certain circles and instead merely mentioned that he was the singer of an unsigned band and produced the relevant video at home on his PC. While this might be true it doesn’t paint the whole picture.
It doesn’t change the fact that he was ripped off and uncredited but ‘unsigned band ripped off by Coca-Cola’ isn’t as quite as good a story as ‘commercial video artist’s work ripped off by Coca-Cola’. I can see why a journalist prefers the first story and Joel himself might but it irks me that he didn’t get the publicity he deserves for the work that will probably turn out to be more influential than his band (sorry Joel – I might be wrong about that!).
I do wonder whether the Sky and BBC journalists were too lazy to google his name or whether they just didn’t want to spoil a good David and Goliath story.
postscript: Language Log has a bit of a vendetta going on about the BBC’s appalling standards of science journalism. I particularly hate bad science journalism because there’s rarely any good science journalism so I think this story needs a bit of a boost. I’d love to see the Beeb have to justify some of the crud they’ve been spreading.