Two members of the Flamingos, a Chicago doo-wop group popular in the 1950s, are seeking more than $1 million in damages from PepsiCo Inc., which they allege used their recordings in commercials withou
Two members of the Flamingos, a Chicago doo-wop group popular in the 1950s, are seeking more than $1 million in damages from PepsiCo Inc., which they allege used their recordings in commercials without permission.
Terry Johnson, 67, of New Jersey, and Tommy Hunt, 70, of Chicago, claim that PepsiCo, parent of the nation's second biggest soft drink company Pepsi-Cola, and Pepsi's advertising agency BBDO Worldwide Inc. failed a legal obligation to bargain directly with performers as well as with record companies. The singers filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
"It's a big deal because a company used their artistic goodwill and their performance to sell products," attorney Steven Ames Brown of San Francisco said of his clients. "You shouldn't do that without consent, and you shouldn't do it without pay."
Brown said the commercials in question were part of a Pepsi advertising campaign about five years ago.
Officials at BBDO Worldwide and Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo declined to comment.
Also named as plaintiffs are Jacob C. Carey and Lloyd Nelson, heirs to former Flamingos members, Brown said.
The Flamingos are perhaps best known for the song "I Only Have Eyes For You," which reached No. 11 on Billboard's Top 40 in 1959.
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