Hoaxes & Rumors

1980s Free U2 Cassette Tape Ad: Real or Fake?

1980s Free U2 Cassette Tape Ad: Real or Fake?

A graphic allegedly shows an ad offering a free U2 cassette tape included with every cassette player purchase in a 1980s-era catalog. Is this real or fake?

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The image is fake.

Let’s first take a look at what is being circulated.


In the graphic above, it appears that this 1980s-era advertisement includes a free copy of the 1983 U2 album “War” with every cassette player purchase. Sky News reported that some consumers felt it was an invasion of privacy, while others simply felt annoyed by the presence of unwanted music in their accounts.

Free U2 Album

The graphic appears to be a humorous response to a flap created by the inclusion of U2’s “Songs of Innocence” album into every user’s iTunes account in 2014. Not all iTunes users were happy to have the band’s music appear in their accounts, forcing Apple to publish instructions on how to remove the content.

Fake Graphic

The advertisement above is altered from the original, which did not include any reference to U2. You can find the original at Retromash here. That website dates the original ad back to 1986.

Bottom Line

The graphic allegedly shows a 1980s-era advertisement in which a free U2 cassette tape was included with every purchase is not real. It appears to have been posted as a joke in response to the latest flap regarding the inclusion of a free U2 album in all iTunes accounts.

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