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Apple pulls new Eminem ad spot

Apple on Wednesday removed from its website a new iPod commercial featuring rap star Eminem only hours after it premiered to analysts and the media.

The 30-second spot was shown during the company's special media event, where Apple chief executive Steve Jobs unveiled an all-new iPod and an updated iMac computer.

The commercial takes a new three-dimensional video approach to the "silhouette" ads popularized in Apple's recent iPod television campaigns, combining an iconic effect with music video-style filmography.

Jobs told the crowd that Apple had been working on the ad concept for two-and-a-half years. "It takes our silhouette campaign up to a whole new level," he said. 

The ad was received well by the audience during Jobs' keynote and was met by even louder applause than those following U2's iPod video ad. Jobs played the ad twice for attendees, and said it would premier on television in one to two weeks. 

The ad features Eminem performing his hit single "Lose Yourself," a song that was at the center of another controversy involving Apple in 2004.

About 18 months ago, Eight Mile Style, the music publisher for Eminem, filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming it used one of Eminem's songs in a television advertisement without permission. 

The ad was one of the first to promote Apple's iTunes Music Store, which launched in 2003. It featured a 10-year-old singing "Lose Yourself" while listening to his iPod. Jobs showed the ad alongside several other similar spots. The commercial initially aired on MTV in July 2003.

Eight Mile Style, the music publisher for Eminem, said Apple used song rendition without permission. The suit also named MTV parent company Viacom and advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. 

In a statement regarding the matter, a representative Eight Mile Style wrote, "at no time did Apple, Chiat/Day or MTV receive authorization or permission to record, reproduce, perform, transmit, copy, use or otherwise exploit the composition ("Lose Yourself") for any purpose."

Apple eventually settled the issue with Eminem/Eight Mile Style in early 2005 for an undisclosed cash sum.

It's unclear what legal issue — if any  — lead Apple to withdraw the new "silhouette" ad.

Eminem's music is often the focus of much controversy, but "Lose Yourself" is regarded as one of his more tame tracks. 

Although Apple has removed all traces of the commercial from its Web site, it can still be viewed as a part of the video stream of Jobs' keynote.

In related news, the rapper left rehab yesterday, after receiving two months of treatment for a drug addiction.

News of the ad removal first appeared on iPod news site, iPodNN.