50 Cent kept his word, and now is suing Taco Bell. As we previously reported, Taco Bell sent a public letter to 50 Cent asking him to change his name to “79 Cent,” “89 Cent” or “99 Cent” for their Why Pay More Value Menu. 50 immediately replied saying it was a scam, and promised to make them pay. 50 says the company used his name, trademarks, and overall persona in their national advertising campaign without his permission.
A letter filed with the lawsuit says “Thus, without authorization, Taco Bell traded on the name of the world’s biggest hip-hop star to draw attention to its new hip-hop based advertising campaign,” it read. “[A]nd thereby generated massive publicity for its business.” Taco Bell's campaign included a “Rap Name Creator” that allowed consumers the chance to view their own rap name along with a “Why Pay Mo’ Rhyme Generator” that displayed various hip-hop music and images.
“Taco Bell knew that it would likely have had to pay Jackson a multi-million dollar fee to get his endorsement, even if he had agreed to do it—which is in doubt,” the letter read. “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.”