50 Cent comes across as a guy who takes his trademark infringement cases very seriously. He’s a ‘businessman’ by nature and he reads the Wall Street Journal apparently.
Coincidentally, the WSJ is getting 50’s back by taking his side in the Taco Bell vs. 50 Cent law suit. The legal battle stems from Taco Bell’s new ‘Why Pay More Value Menu’ for which items cost either 79, 89, or 99 cents. As a means of promoting the menu, Taco Bell Corp president, Greg Creed, issued a public letter to the press and 50 Cent asking if he would be willing to change his name “to either 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent” for one day.
If 50 showed up to one of Taco Bell’s ‘restaurants’ and changed his name, he would then be rewarded with a $10,000 contribution to a charity of his choice that he “can take Straight to the Bank“. God, I can’t imagine anything lamer than the Taco Bell CEO drafting a letter to 50 cent and quoting his song titles.
Anyone who reads the letter (enlarged image below) can see the obvious marketing and self-promoting style it is written in. And 50 Cent, not being a fool, realized the fast food brand was deploying a clever tactic to inadvertently get his endorsement through this publicity stunt. 50’s lawyer explains the trademark infringement a little further in the court filing:
“Rather than face rejection or pay fair value, Taco Bell chose to steal his endorsement and to enjoy all the publicity of being associated with a mega-star while bearing none of the costs.”
This ‘letter’ sent to 50 is absolutely ridiculous. Although it sounds like a pretty good deal for everyone except 50 Cent (all other customers at whichever Taco Bell location he shows up at to rap his order and change his name to some other cent increment will receive plenty of free Taco Bell food), the whole thing sounds so degrading to him. In order to get the $10K for charity they’ll make him pull up to a drive through and freestyle a rap about his name being “79 Cent” for the day or something? Bogus!
The Taco Bell ‘request letter’ even purports to ask 50, “Where else can you get a Cheesy Double Beef Burrito for only $.89?”.
Although I am not often mistaken for him, if I were Mr. 50 Cent, I would certainly sue the hell out of Taco Bell for this thing. It just makes him seem like a punk for even being associated with this dumb ad.
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WSJ: 50 Cent Looking for Big Change Outta Taco Bell, July 23, 2008