50 Cent Files $1 Million Lawsuit Against Advertising Company Over “Shoot the Rapper” Ads
On Friday (July 20), lawyers for 50 Cent filed suit against internet advertising company Traffix Inc. over a series of controversial ad banners. According to the Associated Press, the rapper is seeking $1 million in damages from Traffix for illegally using his image on their “Shoot the Rapper” ad banners. The banners, which have been called tasteless and offensive, stirred controversy earlier this year when they appeared on the Myspace pages of some of the victims of the Virgina Tech massacre. The ad features a moving graphic of a character that closely resembles 50, wearing a bullet proof vest and a fitted cap, and encourages viewers to “shoot the rapper” in order to win a prize. Peter Raymond, the attorney representing 50 in the suit, says that although the ad does not use his client’s name “it looks like him, and there’s no doubt the character is intended to be him.” Raymond says the G-Unit head is “personally offended” that Traffix used his likeness without authorization and suggesting that he is in some way endorsing the campaign. In addition to $1 million in actual damages, the suit also seeks unspecified punitive damages and a permanent injunction barring the use of his image without permission.