Frank Ocean Sued by Chipotle for Backing out of Advertising Deal

Patrick Lyons

by Patrick Lyons

Published March 9, 2014

Photo credit: Dave Gold

You may remember a YouTube video for Chipotle from last September that featured Fiona Apple covering "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. As it now turns out, Apple wasn't the food chain's first choice to sing on the commercial. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chipotle is now suing R&B star Frank Ocean for backing out of a deal that would've had him covering the Wonka song for said advertisement.

Apparently, Chipotle paid Ocean $212,500 in July 2013, with the agreement that he would deliver a recording by August 7th, and be paid an additional $212,500 upon completion. On the deadline, Ocean contacted Chipotle, saying that he would not complete the project, but failed to return the money he had received. The company is now suing Ocean for the $212,500 it already paid him, as well as "additional damages to be determined at trial."

Ocean initially agreed to the project after seeing a version of the ad that was, according to Chipotle, "roughly 80 percent" complete. It did not feature the Chipotle logo at all. A letter sent by Ocean's legal team to the company on August 15th (which Chipotle has quoted in the lawsuit) reads:

"When Frank was asked to participate in this project, Chipotle's representatives told him that the thrust of the campaign was to promote responsible farming. There was no Chipotle reference or logo in the initial presentation, and Chipotle told Frank that was an intentional element of the campaign. Frank was also promised that he'd have the right to approve the master and all advertising."

Chipotle is denying that those were terms of their original deal with Ocean. In response to their suit, the singer posted a link to the Wikipedia entry for "Defamation" on his Tumblr. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge, and visit Frank Ocean's Zumic artist page for more of his music, videos and news.
Via: The Hollywood Reporter

Fiona Apple Frank Ocean
Business Hip Hop Legal R&B-Soul Television West Coast Rap
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