Skip

The check is in the post
March 11, 2014 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Last Friday, Chipotle filed a lawsuit against Frank Ocean for failing to deliver a song he was due to record for an ad campaign. Ocean was paid in advance but apparently thought he was promoting responsible farming, not Chipotle’s brand. Ocean responded on Tumblr with This.
"Pure Imagination" was eventually recorded by Fiona Apple (previously) but has been criticised and parodied due to its greenwashing of Chipotle’s real-life meat sources.
posted by Lanark (75 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
You know what, if he didn't want the job, he didn't have to take it. The "fuck off" was gratuitious and I doubt very seriously that this was about the "responsible farming issue" and it was much more about the, "I just didn't feel like it" issue.

If he really has scruples, he could have returned the money before he was sued.

As for the rest of it, no, Chipotle isn't a 100% organic and locally sourced product restaurant, but it's pretty damn close.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:10 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


Of course, this is probably more publicity for both Frank Ocean AND Chipotle than just providing the song would've been.
posted by inigo2 at 1:15 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


Ruthless Bunny: "As for the rest of it, no, Chipotle isn't a 100% organic and locally sourced product restaurant, but it's pretty damn close."

I'm thinking you haven't read the last article, or you have a different definition of "pretty damn close" than I do.
posted by Big_B at 1:16 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


I doubt very seriously that this was about the "responsible farming issue" and it was much more about the, "I just didn't feel like it" issue.

Why?
posted by jason_steakums at 1:16 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]


In the previous thread: a dude working at Modell's who realizes he ought to be at least somewhat thankful for a pair of socks as a bonus.

In this thread: a dude who can afford to turn down a $425k paycheck because fuck you, that's why.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:19 PM on March 11 [12 favorites]


Because you'd have to be way more of an idiot than Frank Ocean is to agree to get paid 200k from Chipotle and think that it isn't about promoting their brand. The "I thought this was about responsible farming" is a red herring; responsible farming is Chipotle's brand, and Frank Ocean knows that.

I'm thinking you haven't read the last article, or you have a different definition of "pretty damn close" than I do.

I think the Chipotle hate is pretty much a letting the perfect be the enemy of the good type situation. Is Chipotle's sourcing perfect? No. Better than any other national food chain? Absolutely, and sometimes you have to celebrate small steps.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:20 PM on March 11 [45 favorites]


I bet Billy Ocean would have handled this better
posted by thelonius at 1:21 PM on March 11 [13 favorites]


I bet Billy Ocean would have handled this better

Danny Ocean would have handled it better and made off with the money.
posted by The World Famous at 1:24 PM on March 11 [17 favorites]


When i first saw this on Twitter I thought it was Danny Ocean and got really freaking confused.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:26 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


Billy would surely have used his favorite line "Go and get stuffed".
posted by biffa at 1:26 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


I doubt very seriously that this was about the "responsible farming issue" and it was much more about the, "I just didn't feel like it" issue.

Why?


Because if that were the case, he would have returned the check uncashed, rather than having to be sued first.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:27 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


you have a different definition of "pretty damn close" than I do.

Well, they are "close" enough to not be sued for false advertising - right?
posted by Flood at 1:27 PM on March 11




I bet Billy Ocean would have handled this better

Great, now I have Caribbean Queen stuck in my head...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:33 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


It really doesn't matter what Ocean thought the gig was about. Dude kept the cash and then skipped on the song. There are neighborhoods where that kind of bullshit gets you shot.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:33 PM on March 11 [5 favorites]


Dude kept the cash and then skipped on the song. There are neighborhoods where that kind of bullshit gets you shot.

Clearly he has or is repaying them, so please show mercy when Frank rolls through your neighborhood of InternetToughGuyBerg.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:34 PM on March 11 [33 favorites]


I'm not a fan of Chipotle. I just don't much care for their food... but Chipotle and "greenwashing" aside, if at any point during the quoting/production process you find yourself strongly disagreeing with the ethics of a potential/current client, it's just common sense / morals to return the money once you discover the moral/ethical issue and move on with your life.

Of course, who knows when he realized that his client was actually Chipotle, who was contacted, what was said, when lawyers got involved, and if there were any rumblings of "breach of contract" damages before this went viral.


Pollo Tropical is better anyway. :)
posted by Debaser626 at 1:34 PM on March 11


Well, they are "close" enough to not be sued for false advertising - right?

Obviously, but again, the "greenwashing" article points out how few claims were actually claimed, rather than implied with a wink and a nudge, in those ads.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:35 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


My god, that "greenwashing" listicle is a great example of perfect being the enemy of good. Only 80% of their beef is raised without antibiotics! Due to supply shortages! The only locally sourced items are the onions, avocados, peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños, and cilantro!
posted by mr_roboto at 1:35 PM on March 11 [42 favorites]


Clearly he has or is repaying them...

Only after having a lawsuit thrown at him. What? Did he think they wouldn't notice?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:39 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I object to the crows being the bad guys.
posted by philip-random at 1:40 PM on March 11 [7 favorites]


It's a perfect example of the cruel dominance of Capitalism and Corporatism that people are expected to produce a product simply because someone gave them money.
posted by happyroach at 1:42 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


I also have a theory that Papa John's tagline:

"Better Pizza. Better Ingredients."

I think it's a play on words, made to confuse you into thinking Papa John's uses better ingredients.

In reality it's just a general statement, basically saying:

"What that means is, umm... if you use better ingredients, you get better pizzas. Now our pizzas... well, yeah. We use Elmer's glue, ketchup and cardboard, so... you know."
posted by Debaser626 at 1:43 PM on March 11 [30 favorites]


responsible farming is Chipotle's brand, and Frank Ocean knows that.

I bet Billy Ocean would have handled this better.

Danny Ocean would have handled it better and made off with the money.


I think Humphrey Ocean would have handled this better, and then graciously offered to paint Fiona Apple's portrait.
posted by Naberius at 1:46 PM on March 11


Yeah, "greenwashing" is poor framing there.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 1:46 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


I would like to state that I am willing to hold $215,000 for 8 months, earn interest on it, and then return the principal after doing nothing.
posted by Area Man at 1:47 PM on March 11 [14 favorites]


It does seem kinda weird if he didn't return the money prior to being sued, and assuming the story is basically accurate, I'm a little puzzled about why their wanting the money back if he wasn't going to go through with the deal would lead to "FUCK OFF." I mean, you can do the deal or not do the deal, but if you don't do the deal, you have to give the money back. In fact, throwing back the money all "You can just KEEP your money!" is sort of part and parcel of the fun of turning down a business deal on principle anyway.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 1:50 PM on March 11 [6 favorites]


How cute! When I was in college, and I'd get a parking ticket, I'd put little passive-aggressive bible refs about usury or greed or whatever in the 'memo' section, like the cleverest little 20 year old on earth.

Nowhere near as erudite as "Fuck Off" on a check for more money than I will see in a decade, because I guess they don't have the concept of 'advertising' wherever it is rich singers live.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:52 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I would like to state that I would like to support Frank Ocean in this endeavor because he is a meatspace person and Chipotle is a corporate person and therefore by definition soulless but I also like Chipotle's food and I think that they are making steps in the right direction but now I am confused and think it's time to go sit in the corner with an icepack on my head.
posted by djeo at 1:52 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


I would probably have an opinion on the food if there was a Chipotle anywhere within 30 minutes of me.

And, for you folks saying "Restaurant X is better" like that's an option are just more annoying.
posted by Samizdata at 2:13 PM on March 11


Debaser626: "Pollo Tropical is better anyway. :)"

I prefer Pollos Hermanos, though some have accused them of "bluewashing".
posted by symbioid at 2:15 PM on March 11 [5 favorites]


My god, that "greenwashing" listicle is a great example of perfect being the enemy of good.

Oh, come on. That's a complete strawman. Nobody's suggesting Chipotle should shut down all their operations, or be boycotted, or face any consequences whatsoever, because their product's not 100% local organic. They're just saying the ads are misleading, period. That's a problem Chipotle can fix very, very easily by just presenting themselves honestly.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:16 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


Also: Death to Chipotle for that abomination known as "Cilantro Rice".
posted by symbioid at 2:16 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


happyroach: "It's a perfect example of the cruel dominance of Capitalism and Corporatism that people are expected to produce a product simply because someone gave them money."

This. And I am amusing myself imagining this the other way around, Chipotle using a Frank Ocean song for advertising and not paying for it, saying just "don't worry, Frank's good at getting over adversity."
posted by chavenet at 2:23 PM on March 11


I need to stop coming to this webzone
posted by hellojed at 2:30 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


The only locally sourced items are the onions, avocados, peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños, and cilantro!

I find this incredibly difficult to believe.
posted by sibboleth at 2:30 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


last august frank ocean's lawyers had this to say :
"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."
it reads to me like ocean's side is that he was sold a vision that didn't happen and the contract was written in such a way that the advance was his, whether he approved the final ad or not. having said that, none of us have seen the contract, we just know the tiny blurbs that both sides have released.
posted by nadawi at 2:39 PM on March 11 [4 favorites]


Local in this sense means 350 miles. I live in California so that's entirely easy to believe, even if 350 miles is pretty disingenuous. But for vast swaths of the country - yeah I imagine that is really hard to believe. I didn't know that the USDA definition is 400 miles which is pretty wild.
posted by Big_B at 2:39 PM on March 11


It feels like this whole thing was calculated to get me to watch that stupid scarecrow video.

I wish we had Chipotle here. We have a Canadian chain called Mucho Burrito that is a cargo-cult copy. Same prices, same concept, but it's so very bland. Not bland in the sense of no heat; you can get your habanero or whatever there. But the ingredients are either without flavour or totally wrong (mayo-y "burrito sauce", chunky, raw onions and peppers, unseasoned meats).
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:46 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


The "fuck off" was gratuitious
You do realize he came up through Odd Future, right? Because when you look up "gratuitous" in the dictionary...
posted by pxe2000 at 2:53 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


Even rich gay R&B singers are badass.
And even responsibly delicious corporations should fuck off.
These are just laws of the universe.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:00 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Yeah, dunno about "greenwashing." And on the whole, between giving Mother Jones a thumbs up or thumbs down, I'd definitely go with the former, but it's challenging to see how they can be looked at as balanced and objective.
posted by ambient2 at 3:06 PM on March 11


Great, now I have Caribbean Queen stuck in my head...

I don't know that song, but now I have Mississippi Queen stuck in my head.
posted by DarkForest at 3:06 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I don't know that song, but now I have Mississippi Queen stuck in my head.

I don't know that song, but now I have Ballad of a Teenage Queen stuck in my head.

This is the way the world ends.
posted by howfar at 3:12 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking you haven't read the last article, or you have a different definition of "pretty damn close" than I do.

I just read the last article and came away deeply impressed with just how seriously Chipotle are trying to live up to their commitments. I don't think that was how Mother Jones were trying to spin it, but the SHOCKING REVELATIONS they had were pretty small beer.
posted by yoink at 3:14 PM on March 11 [9 favorites]


I don't know that song, but now I have Ballad of a Teenage Queen stuck in my head.

I don't know that song, but now I have Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my head. So, thanks, actually!
posted by The Bellman at 3:16 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


you know.. they may not be perfect, but what I get from reading this and other things about the chain is that Chipotle is aware of the concerns surrounding food safety/health and are least trying to do something about the issue(s). but also recognizing it is almost impossible to be 100% vertically integrated and therefore have ultimate control. so they're being upfront about it, at least.
posted by ninjew at 3:22 PM on March 11


I am a bigger fan of Frank Ocean's music than I am of Chipotle's food, but the way this thread is presented almost reads like an ad hominem attack. Chipotle's business practices aren't as environmentally correct as their ads would lead you to believe so...Frank Ocean is right to be indignant for having to return money for services he never performed for them? (I know this was not said explicitly, but otherwise I'm confused why these two separate issues are being conflated).
posted by The Gooch at 3:27 PM on March 11 [2 favorites]


I don't know that song, but now I have Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my head. So, thanks, actually!

...aaaaaand now I have Rhapsody in Blue stuck in my head. Gah!
posted by Benway at 3:27 PM on March 11


I wish we had Chipotle here. We have a Canadian chain called Mucho Burrito that is a cargo-cult copy.

Remember the post the other day about the burrito being rolled the wrong way, so you have an eternity of rice to work through then an ocean of beans then eventually an entire mouth of nothing but salsa? His rage was familiar to me -- that happened the first (and last) time I bought a Mucho Burrito. It's incomprehensible how you could fuck up the basic mechanics of the food item that is in your name that much -- it's like going to Subway and ordering a sandwich and being handed a bun wrapped in ham with lettuce shreds piled on top and dressing poured over it. Just incomprehensible. Never again.

Fortunately, Calgary has in the past few years changed from being the largest city in North America without any decent Mexican food to merely being the metropolitan area with the lowest decent Mexican food per capita ratio.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:52 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


I would like to state that I am willing to hold $215,000 for 8 months, earn interest on it, and then return the principal after doing nothing.

Interest? What is this, the 20th century? If you have an instrument that will pay enough interest in eight months to reimburse you for the gas money to deposit the check at the bank I'd like to hear about it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:28 PM on March 11 [3 favorites]


If you have an instrument that will pay enough interest in eight months to reimburse you for the gas money to deposit the check at the bank I'd like to hear about it.

My savings account pays .85% annual, that gives $1,218 over 8 months unless I'm doing it wrong. Gas isn't _that_ expensive yet. [sorry, .85% not 1%]
posted by wildcrdj at 4:40 PM on March 11


Mississippi Queen because it's better than all those other songs
posted by philip-random at 5:25 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


It seems bizarrely out of character for mefi that the thread started out with, and continued on with several other people siding with the corporation and not the artist who was claiming what they paid him to do was grossly misrepresented.

I mean, that template is not a super uncommon story. Why is everyone pooping on him here, because it's so much money and lolrich? i don't get it.

I am a bigger fan of Frank Ocean's music than I am of Chipotle's food, but the way this thread is presented almost reads like an ad hominem attack. Chipotle's business practices aren't as environmentally correct as their ads would lead you to believe so...Frank Ocean is right to be indignant for having to return money for services he never performed for them? (I know this was not said explicitly, but otherwise I'm confused why these two separate issues are being conflated).

I don't see how this is that hard to understand. You can argue that it's up to the person being hired to do research on who they're contracting with, but basically.

1. They hire him to do music for an ad representing ABC. Without showing him the ad or explaining the entirely message, or presenting it in a limited way that makes it seem like something it's not
2. He sees the actual ad minus audio in the studio when he goes to record it, and realizes the ad is completely full of shit
3. Now. They sue him for not delivering, all this stuff, bla bla bla.

This seems to be the story as presented. The truth may be different, but that's how i'm interpreting it i guess?

None of it seems that far fetched at all for like any type of contracting. This is basically a massive scale of "Oh, it's just 5 minutes of work and a tiny problem" type of misrepresentation but with a sinister twist.

The curmudgeonly "he stole money so he's wrong!" stuff is tiresome. Yea, it weakens his argument. But it at least seems from the available information and what he's said that they were trying to misrepresent their ad here.
posted by emptythought at 6:56 PM on March 11 [4 favorites]


I don't know that song,

You fuckers need to FIX that, it's the jam.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:13 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


The ad is for a game that you can only play on Apple products, created by Chipotle...
posted by gucci mane at 9:48 PM on March 11


Chipotle is owned by Bankster Pigs. Zero sympathy for Chipotle. Zero sympathy for sad slaves who defend billion dollar bankster gang bangs.
posted by Israel Tucker at 10:51 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


Gee, Frank Ocean has actual literal Fuck You money. Well done, sir.
posted by gingerest at 11:16 PM on March 11 [5 favorites]


How disappointing to learn that the owners are not actually called Bankster Pigs. Band name, etc.
posted by biffa at 2:54 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


"Pure Imagination yt " was eventually recorded by Fiona Apple (previously) but has been criticised and parodied due to its greenwashing of Chipotle’s real-life meat sources.

The scarecrow short doesn't actually say that the scarecrow is Chipotle. It seems way more reasonable to assume that the analogue to Chipotle, the massive mass-market food company, is Crow Foods. In which case, the short is refreshingly honest.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:17 AM on March 12


I enjoy both Chipotle and Frank Ocean. I hate it when mom and dad fight.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 5:47 AM on March 12


The curmudgeonly "he stole money so he's wrong!" stuff is tiresome.

As tiresome as "this entity of 1000+ people isn't 100% consistent in what they say and what they do so they're wrong!"

The story here isn't just about misrepresentation in contracting. If Ocean returned the money once he backed out, then there wouldn't be a story here. It is as routine a business misunderstanding as you imply. What is an interesting, discussable topic is the idea that one artist got into a fight with a corporation and the entire conflict is being presented as this question around corporate responsibility and accountability

And, yeah, I think that is totally within character for MeFi to discuss. Ensuring integrity in any large organization whether it's corporations, universities or MeFi is hard, but it is totally worth encouraging given the role that they have in our lives. I think that where the "don't let perfect be the enemy of good" crowd is coming from is encouraging us to distinguish between "these guys are lying liars serving us burritos filled with lie sauce" (which can emerge quickly in corpsLOL discussion threads) and "these guys are trying harder than most to fix some problems in the industry, but aren't quite getting the mark."

Tl;dr: this dude has every right to refuse work with corps that sketch him out, but fella's gotta return that cash. And while we're talking about sketchy: corporate fast food soylent green monster machine or independent local fetish pastoral ethnic authentic burrito stand ... is there no middle ground between the two?
posted by bl1nk at 5:58 AM on March 12


the thing that people who insist he has to return the cash keep glossing over - what if the contract said he didn't? that seems to be what his lawyers are claiming, and that would explain the "fuck you." if they're telling the truth that the contract gave him the ability to approve the ad, it makes sense to me that there would be some amount of money that he gets to keep regardless if the ad gets made or not. if this all came out when he showed up to record the track, chances are he'd already worked on his arrangement, maybe worked on some of the instrumentation, maybe turned down other projects or shows that would happen at the same time. if chipotle really did misrepresent what they were asking him to be involved with, i don't understand all the support for them and for the idea that ocean was trying to steal the money.
posted by nadawi at 6:12 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


You can check out the contract yourself, it is here as an exhibit to Chipotle's complaint. I only gave it a quick glance, but looks to me like the Termination clause requires Ocean to retun the money if he doesn't deliver a satisfactory master recording to Chipotle by the delivery date and then doesn't cure his default within 10 days of being provided with written notice.
posted by Area Man at 6:44 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


aha - i hadn't seen the contract. it does seem like his lawyers are saying that chipotle, not ocean, broke the contract which is why he should keep the money.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 AM on March 12


Also: Death to Chipotle for that abomination known as "Cilantro Rice".

You're aware that if you ask, you can get the rice without the cilantro. They have it back by the grill. Both brown and white rice can be added to your bowl without cilantro.

I HATE cilantro, but I LOVE Chipotle.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:29 AM on March 12


Chipotle and Frank Ocean are both pretty much OK in my book, but I love contract law. Forgive me!

tl;dr - Love 'em or hate 'em, Chipotle is unequivocally in the right here...

From page 10 of the PDF:
1. Delivery of the Master; Artist's Services: Artist will: (i) provide his vocal and recording services and deliver the Master to Chipotle by Aug 7, 2013 (the "Delivery Date"); (ii) meaningfully consult with Chipotle regarding the Master and will make a good faith effort to deliver a master recording that is consistent with the conversations between Chipotle and Artist and in keeping with Chipotle's intent to make the Master available to the public pursuant to the terms of this Agreement; and (iii) make a good faith effort to support the promotion via social media (collectively, the "Services").
And from page 12:
13. Termination. In the event that Artist does not deliver a master reasonably satisfactory to Chipotle by Delivery Date, Chipotle may terminate this Agreement if after providing written notice (either by personal delivery, certified mail return receipt requested or by courier service such as FedEx) to Artist specifying its dissatisfaction, Artist fails to cure the same within ten (10) business days after Artist's receipt of such notice. Upon termination pursuant to this Section 13, Chipotle shall be discharged of any further obligation to compensate Artist, Artist shall remit to Chipotle all amounts paid to Artist for his services, and Chipotle shall have no right or claim to the recordings made by Artist in his attempt to deliver the Master.
There's a lot of complexity but very little room for nuance in commercial contracting, which is why it's a really, really, really good idea to read everything you sign.

Chipotle's name is all over the contract -- on every page, in fact -- so the idea that they were misrepresenting or obfuscating something or that Ocean went into this whole thing unawares is patently ridiculous unless he just shrugs and signs anything that gets put in front of him. The fact that his legal team seems to agree that he should have been able to sign a contract agreeing to record a song for them, fail to perform in accordance with the terms, and then walk away with the money (apparently not intending to return it unless/until he was sued for it) is downright bewildering. As others have stated above, he had every opportunity to express his displeasure with Chipotle's business model before he signed on the dotted line.

Ocean's lawyers are -- inexplicably, IMO -- arguing that an alleged verbal agreement and/or amendment must be considered as binding as the written contract ("told," "promised," etc.). But this argument explicitly contradicts Section 14 ("This Agreement (a) may not be amended, modified or cancelled, unless confirmed by a document in writing signed by both parties...") and Section 15 ("...this Agreement shall constitute a valid and binding agreement between the parties hereto, and shall supercede all prior drafts, correspondence and negotiations between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof.").

In addition, Ocean's lawyers are charging that the contract as written explicitly gives their client the "right to approve all advertising, promotional, and publicity materials," but the only approval rights that actually exist in the terms are laid out in Section 5, which gives him the right to approve a change in producers and the right to approve the final Master, "provided such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delay producer's final delivery of the Master to Chipotle," and Section 8 ('Name & Likeness'), which just says that Chipotle needs to get Ocean's approval before using his name, likeness, and/or biographical information. Ownership of the recording is laid out in Section 7, and Chipotle's ability to stream/sell/distribute the recording however they'd like anywhere in the world is laid out in Sections 2 and 4. The idea that Chipotle could have materially breached by refusing Ocean a right that does not exist in the contract is light years beyond my ken.

I'm a bleeding-heart leftist who loathes the concept of corporate personhood, and I've been vegan for long enough that a lot of what Chipotle sells doesn't even look like food to me, but I've also worked in contracting for almost half my life, and I can say with a great deal of certainty that Ocean's pithy tell-off -- for better or worse -- has everything to do with his feelings of indignance and nothing to do with the law. Man, the UCC doesn't have a conscience clause!
posted by divined by radio at 9:38 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


divined by radio - i wondered if there were other documents - in the end there's the email from chipotle to frank oceans lawyers about how they've looked over all the correspondences from caa, chipotle, ocean's lawyers, and agents and feel they're in the right - if ocean's lawyers were to file a counter suit, i wonder if any of those correspondences would shed a different light. i agree with you, after seeing the contract, that it seems pretty cut and dried - but this was put together by chipotle and might be excluding something important.
posted by nadawi at 9:45 AM on March 12


I think that where the "don't let perfect be the enemy of good" crowd is coming from is encouraging us to distinguish between "these guys are lying liars serving us burritos filled with lie sauce" (which can emerge quickly in corpsLOL discussion threads) and "these guys are trying harder than most to fix some problems in the industry, but aren't quite getting the mark."

problem is, it's not just about Chipotle being not perfect. It's about them sinking big bucks into a soaringly sad and beautiful short movie which positions them as pure beyond reproach whilst their competition are sinister to the point of pure evil (also crows). At some point, my stomach starts to turn.

That Funny-or-Die parody puts it very well. "Just engage with our brand -- and make sure to follow us on Twitter"
posted by philip-random at 10:00 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


nadawi, I've also wondered if there were other documents -- it does seem like there has to be something missing for Ocean's lawyers to make the complaints they've made so far, because (as they/we say) the contract is king, and according to that, his folks are definitely in the wrong.

At this point, I think the only thing he/they could do to prove their case is provide either a written amendment or a completely different contract, signed by both parties, that specifically confirms Ocean reserves the right to unilaterally approve the master "and all advertising, promotional and publicity materials" rather than just the master. Otherwise, the final paragraph of the existing contract appears to explicitly negate the purported validity of any/all rights, promises, etc. that might have been discussed or agreed to via any other form of communication.

I'm also wondering if a music recording is considered a 'good' under UCC § 2-201 if everything is done (as I'm assuming it is nowadays) entirely digitally. If so, it could be covered under the Statute of Frauds, which mandates the creation of a written contract if the proposed agreement involves a sale of goods valued at $500 or more. If not, are Ocean's lawyers claiming that a binding verbal contract was created in their initial meeting? Or is the entire contract fully outside the scope of the UCC because the ostensible good would have been specially manufactured? I'll be thinking about this for a while!
posted by divined by radio at 10:16 AM on March 12


divined by radio - exactly! i'm not even really defending ocean - just saying, something seems to be missing or his lawyers are just bold faced lying in a really weird way.
posted by nadawi at 10:18 AM on March 12


His lawyers are being paid by the hour?
posted by happyroach at 10:24 AM on March 12


From an interview last year Fiona had a different angle on what happened:

Pitchfork: You recently covered "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka for a Chipotle commercial, which seems out of character. How did that happen?

FA: Chipotle was in a big rush and they initially wanted Frank Ocean, but he screwed up his voice. And they wanted to use “Pure Imagination”, a song I wanted to do in a show when I was 18 but was too afraid to. I didn’t want Gene Wilder to be upset about that song being sung by some idiot. I thought that I had the best chance of doing it well. This is the absolute truth: The only person that I care what they think of the Chipotle commercial is Gene Wilder.
posted by Lanark at 12:38 PM on March 12


The scarecrow short doesn't actually say that the scarecrow is Chipotle.

Yea, actually, it blatantly does. If you look at the little shop he opens at the end the logo is the chipotle logo. also on his truck, and the pepper at his farm, and...

i can grab screenshots if you don't believe me, but it's BLATANT in every way besides actually just having the text below the logo. It's obviously their copyrighted pepper logo.
posted by emptythought at 2:15 PM on March 12


Yea, actually, it blatantly does.

I get what you mean, having looked at the logo, but the short doesn't really explicitly say it. But it is certainly strongly implied.

I just find it more entertaining to pretend that that some ad exec at Chipotle stalked into a conference room and said, 'Fuck it, let's just tell the truth about our awful farming practices and heinous bigotry against scarecrows. Why not? Who's going to stop us? If they protest, we'll just release our army of robot crows on them'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:34 PM on March 12


« Older "I guess [you] don’t care about hard work or...   |   Blowing the whistle on... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post