50 Cent Sues Taco Bell Over Ad Campaign
July 24, 2008 at 5:35 AM (PT)
50 CENT has sued TACO BELL, claiming the fast-food restaurant chain is using his name without permission in advertising that asks him to call himself 99 CENT. The rapper says in a federal lawsuit filed WEDNESDAY that the Mexican-themed chain features him in a print ad asking him to change his name to 79 CENT, 89 CENT or 99 CENT. His real name is CURTIS JACKSON.
The rapper's court papers say the ad is part of TACO BELL's "Why Pay More?" campaign. The papers say the IRVINE, CA-based company sent a bogus letter requesting the name change to the news media, but not to the rapper. 50 CENT's lawyer, PETER D. RAYMOND, said his client didn't learn about the letter or that he was featured in the ad campaign until he saw a news report about it. RAYMOND said his client is seeking $4 million in damages.
TACO BELL CORP. spokesman ROB POETSCH issued a statement saying: "We made a good faith, charitable offer to 50 CENT to change his name to either 79, 89 or 99 Cent for one day by rapping his order at a TACO BELL, and we would have been very pleased to make the $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice."