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Chipotle Is Suing Frank Ocean Over Ad

Frank Ocean arrives at the Brit Awards 2013 Feb. 20, 2013 in London (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images)
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Two of our favorite things, Chipotle and Frank Ocean, were supposed to come together in an ad. But now that partnership has resulted in a lawsuit.Chipotle says it paid $212,500 to the R&B singer for an ad campaign, but Ocean backed out and hasn’t returned the money, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to the suit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Ocean was supposed to record a cover of “Pure Imagination” (a song written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley and sung by Gene Wilder for the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) for a marketing campaign promoting local and sustainably sourced food, and that it would be an ad for Chipotle, who was a sponsor. Ocean was shown an animated spot that would accompany the song that was about 80 percent done, sans Chipotle’s logo or mention.

Ocean was due another $212,500 on delivery of the song. Ocean failed to deliver the song by the Aug. 7, 2013 due date and sent a letter Aug. 15, 2013 saying why he wouldn’t participate:

“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.”
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Chipotle denies those were the terms and seeks the original $212,500 paid to Ocean, plus additional damages to be determined at the trial.

Last year Chipotle ended up hiring Fiona Apple to do the song instead when Ocean backed out, Pitchfork reported. Apple’s version of the ad, which has more than 12 million hits on YouTube, can be viewed below:

Chipotle Considers 'Suspending' Guacamole