Swiss representatives Vanilla Ninja, German representative Gracia and the group Virus Incorporation have been banned from the German music charts for three weeks. Media Control, the company that is responsible for composing the weekly German music charts, suspects their record company Bros Music of manipulating the sales of their products and thus their position in the charts. Gracia received a wild card for the German national final since her single Run & hide reached the top 40 of the German charts.
Manipulation of the charts
The ball got rolling two weeks ago in the tv programme AKTE 05 on SAT1. A man claimed that Bros Music, the record company of David Brandes (pictured), commanded him to buy hundreds of copies of the Vanilla Ninja single When the Indians cry in order to get a higher place in the charts.
David Brandes composed this year's German entry Run & hide, to be performed by Gracia, and the Swiss song entitled Cool vibes, to be performed by the Estonian group Vanilla Ninja.
Gracia and Vanilla Ninja banned from the charts
Media Control, the company responsible for composing the weekly German music charts, has now decided to punish Bros Music and banned three Bros Music acts from the German charts for a period of three weeks. The acts concerned are the Swiss Eurovision Song Contest representatives Vanilla Ninja, the German representative Gracia and the group Virus Incorporation.
“Producer David Brandes, who is responsible for these three acts, is suspected of charts manipulation, because he has been linked to purposeful CD acquisition,” stated Media Control. The three-week ban from the charts is a first punishement. Media Control doesn't rule out further sanctions. As Estonian news paper Postimees wrote, Bros Music could be fined up to � 260 000 and be banned from releasing any singles or albums for a period of six months.
Top 40 chart position offered Gracia wild card
Gracia participated in the German national final as a wild card participant. Gracia was accepted to take part in Germany 12 points! after her single Run & hide reached the top 40 of the German single charts. The same Run & hide now is among the songs, banned from the charts.
No consequences for Gracia and Vanilla Ninja
In a press statement, Jürgen Meier-Beer of German broadcaster NDR said that “Gracia will remain the German representative at the Eurovision Song Contest on 21st May in Kyiv,” as there are no signs that the public would have voted in another way if Gracia's song would not have been a top 40 hit.
Also Swiss broadcaster SF DRS informed esctoday.com that this chart scandal will have no consequences for the participation of Vanilla Ninja in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.