In late June advertising representatives for Taco Bell made what they call a “good faith, charitable offer to 50 Cent.” In a written letter, the company propositioned 50 to change his nickname to either 79, 89 or 99 Cent for a day while rapping his order at one of their restaurants. In return, the company would make a $10,000 donation to any charity the rapper chose. The Mexican-style fast food chain released the following letter to the national press in June, before the original copy eventually reached the 50‘s offices.
“Dear Mr. Jackson: We know that you adopted the name 50 Cent years ago as a metaphor for change. We at Taco Bell are also huge advocates of change. In fact, for just a few spare coins, we’re giving consumers more variety for less money with our new 79-89-99 Why Pay More value menu . . . So here’s our offer of change to you: For one day this summer, change your name either 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent by showing up to one of our more than 5,600 locations nationwide and rapping your order in the drive thru with your new moniker.”
According to legal documents filed yesterday in New York federal court, 50 (née Curtis Jackson) and his legal team of Peter D. Raymond and Wallace B. Neel allege “Taco Bell made him the star and focus of its nationwide advertising campaign by using his name, persona and trademark to promote Taco Bell‘s business and products.” Currently 50 has deals with Right Guard, Vitamin Water/Coca-Cola, Steiner Sports, Reebok and other major corporations.