Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Chipotle Is Suing Frank Ocean Over Ad

frankocean_chipotle.jpg
Frank Ocean arrives at the Brit Awards 2013 Feb. 20, 2013 in London (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images)
Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.


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.”
Support for LAist comes from

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:

Related:
Chipotle Considers 'Suspending' Guacamole