Music: MPs give Prodigy smack on the wrist

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The Independent Online
The advertising campaign for The Prodigy's current single "Smack My Bitch Up" has angered 15 Labour MPs and provoked an investigation by the advertising industry's watchdog.

Barry Gardiner, Diane Abbott, Stephen Twigg and 12 others, mainly women, signed an early day motion yesterday condemning the poster campaign for the album with "disgust and outrage" and urging the Prodigy's record company "to withdraw this advertisement immediately".

Meanwhile the Advertising Standards Commission confirmed that it was investigating the poster - which features the single's title in large letters - after receiving 40 complaints from members of the public about the poster.

The single has already caused controversy in America where it is being opposed by the National Organisation of Women and has been banned from sale by the US retail chains Wal-Mart and K-Mart.

The video that accompanied the single has also been banned by most broadcasters in the UK because it features scenes of drug taking and full-frontal nudity.

The Labour MPs objected to the poster because of its seeming endorsement of domestic violence. The band has claimed that the title of the single comes from a lyric that was sampled from a Eighties rap song.

Liam Howlett, The Prodigy's songwriter and producer, Liam Howlett, has said the title phrase means "doing anything intensely, like being on stage going for extreme manic energy".

The early day motion was sponsored by Mr Gardiner who was upset by the poster when he was driving with his daughter.

"I am not a prude and I think The Prodigy are a very good group," he said. "But they should think about the message they are giving out, especially to young women, and to young men about the way they should treat women," he said.