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Del Taco Settles Lawsuit Over Ad Character

The swashbuckling masked hero in last year’s Del Taco commercials won’t be quite the same if he makes a return engagement. Del Taco Inc., settling a lawsuit by two firms that own exclusive rights to Zorro, said it has agreed to alter its masked “Del Taco” character in any future campaigns. The Laguna Hills-based chain said it has not decided whether to use the character in future ad campaigns. The companies that have the rights to Zorro, TriStar Pictures and Zorro Productions Inc., claimed in a lawsuit in federal court last summer that Del Taco’s fast-food hero too closely resembled the Zorro character. The plaintiffs had sought in excess of $1 million in damages and profit from Del Taco and the chain’s Los Angeles advertising agency, WongDoody. The suit also demanded that the commercials be pulled. The ads, which spoof old “spaghetti” westerns, made their debut in June and were aired into November, the end of their scheduled cycle, Del Taco said. The chain would not disclose whether the settlement included a financial payment. Attorneys for TriStar Pictures could not be reached for comment.


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