The 62-year-old appears in US television ads this week for Victoria's Secret Angels line while models cavort to a remixed version of his 1997 song 'Love Sick'.
The ad, created in-house by Victoria's Secret owner Limited Brands, is expected to air this week on Fox during 'American Idol' and on various US channels for about three weeks and may repeat in autumn.
Ed Razek, Limited Brands' president and chief marketing officer, said the brand turned to Dylan as the rock legend was so "iconic and arresting".
Dylan's appearance in a TV commercial will surprise some who might think that the rocker has sold out. Not only is he well known for being publicity shy, he is also widely regarded as a counterculture hero.
In his 1965 song 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)', Dylan sings: "Advertising signs that con you/Into thinking you're the one/That can do what's never been done/That can win what's never been won/Meantime life outside goes on". According to the Wall Street Journal, some fans have been "distraught".
Many contemporary British acts, such as Coldplay and Radiohead today follow the trend in refusing to allow their music to be used in ads.
However Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin has said that he was sure "we'll do something in the future where we will fuck up. I'm sure one day we'll be desperate for money or exposure and we'll go crawling back to Gap and say 'Hey are you sure you don't want a song?', but at the moment we can say fuck 'em'".
Dylan allowed a different version of 'Love Sick' to be used in a Victoria's Secret ad last year, without his appearance in the spot.
Radiohead allowed one song, 'I Might Be Wrong', to be used in an ad for the Winter Olympics in 2001 on the understanding that no corporate branding or logos appeared in the ad with the track.
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