Frank Ocean allegedly bailed on his commitment to U.S. restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, and now the company is suing him for the return of their advance plus damages.
In the lawsuit filed at a court in Los Angeles County, bosses at the company demands that Ocean returns $212,500 after being hired to record a cover version of "Pure Imagination" from 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory for an animated TV commercial & campaign dubbed "Scarecrow".
The company signed Ocean for the campaign in July (2013) for 425K, half of which he received up front. During that time, Chipotle gave Ocean a preview of the animated film, which was 80 percent complete, but did not yet include their logo.
A month later Ocean informed the company that he was backing out on recording the song, submitting the below letter via his legal team:
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,” the letter read. “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.
Chipotle claims those were not the terms of the deal. The company later hired singer/songwriter Fiona Apple to record the track for the campaign.