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A Taco Bell ad caused beef with 50 Cent. And we all know that having beef with 50 Cent never pays off.
Bloomberg reports that the fast food chain recently settled a lawsuit by the infamous hip hop artist which claimed that Taco Bell used his persona and trademark to promote its new value menu. The settlement between the hip hop artist formally known as Curtis Jackson and the chain was made official by Judge Naomi Buckwald on Nov. 13, 2009.
50 Cent filed a complaint in NY District Court back in the summer of 2008 claiming that Taco Bell had used his stage name in a fake letter that it sent to news outlets. The fake letter asked 50 Cent to change his name to "79 Cent", "89 Cent" or "99 Cent" in order to promote the Taco Bell's Value Menu. The letter was picked up by news outlets, but a formal letter was never sent to 50 Cent himself.
The Taco Bell ad allegedly violated 50 Cent's "right of publicity" because it used his stage name for advertising purposes. However, Taco Bell denies that it violated this right because it claims that the fake letter mentioned an "offer" to the hip hop artist to change his name for a day in exchange for $10,000 to his favorite charity.
The headline in the letter read: "50 Cent to Change His Name to 79 Cent For Taco Bell". 50 Cent's legal team that the headline was false and actually is strong evidence of actual confusion.
50 Cent was asking for $1 million dollars in damages against the fast food chain. The terms of the settlement are unknown, but the New York Post quoted 50 Cent's attorney as saying, "As is often the case in these situations, the parties have agreed not to discuss anything about the settlement except to say both sides are satisfied."