Britain's Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) has escaped censure from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the music industry services firm drew complaints over a full-page advertisement placed in a broadsheet newspaper.

PPL's national press ad, published Dec. 7, 2006 in the Financial Times, listed thousands of names under the banner of "fair play for musicians," but came under fire when readers noted that some of the artists mentioned in the petition were in fact dead.

London-based PPL, which organized the petition in response to the Gowers Review of intellectual property, contended that they had received permission to use the names from all artists or their beneficiaries.

The ASA yesterday stated that it would not uphold the 15 complaints submitted against the ad, and stated that PPL made it clear what performers were signing, attained proper permission and "the ad accurately represented the views of those listed."

The advertisement "was placed to highlight the injustice and inequality for record companies and performers of the current fifty year sound recording copyright term following the publication of the Gowers Review," said Dominic McGonigal, PPL director of government relations, in a statement.

"We are delighted that the ASA has recognized the thoroughness and merit of the petition and has unequivocally dismissed the complainants' various objections," he added.