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Diageo Ends Partnership with Diddy Amidst Liquor Lawsuit Alleging Racial Discrimination and Unfair Brand Promotion

Diageo Ends Partnership with Diddy Amidst Liquor Lawsuit Alleging Racial Discrimination and Unfair Brand Promotion

Diageo, the parent company of Sean Combs's Ciroc vodka and DeLeón tequila, cuts ties with the rapper after he sues for racial discrimination and unequal treatment. The article explores the lawsuit and the allegations made by Combs, highlighting the company's response and the future of the brands.

Posted  411 Views updated 12 months ago
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Diageo Ends Partnership with Diddy Following Lawsuit Alleging Racial Discrimination and Unfair Brand Promotion

Diageo PLC, the parent company of Sean Combs's Ciroc vodka and DeLeón tequila, has decided to sever ties with the rapper after he filed a lawsuit against them, claiming racial discrimination and unequal treatment of the liquors. Combs alleged that the brands were labeled as "Black brands" meant for "urban" consumers, leading to neglect in marketing and resources compared to other brands.

Diageo, a British liquor company with a vast portfolio of over 200 brands globally, has asked the New York Supreme Court to dismiss Combs's lawsuit. In a statement, the company accused him of engaging in "bad-faith actions" and making unreasonable financial demands, further claiming that despite their 15-year relationship, Combs only contributed $1,000 and failed to honor his commitments.

According to Variety, Combs accused Diageo of providing unequal treatment to Ciroc and DeLeón due to his race, asserting that they were deprived of proper marketing, production, and distribution resources compared to brands like Don Julio and Casamigos tequila. Diageo has stated that it remains committed to the success of both brands, despite the separation.

Combs's attorney, John Hueston, emphasized that the lawsuit will persist, citing concerns over racially insensitive comments and biased decisions made within Diageo's upper management over the years.

The partnership between Combs Wines and Spirits and Diageo began in 2007, initially focusing on Ciroc, a struggling vodka brand that gained substantial success after the collaboration. Diageo later acquired DeLeón through Combs's company, with the liquor company claiming to have invested over $100 million in the brand. However, Diageo alleges that Combs, who holds a 50% interest in DeLeón, has consistently refused to provide funding for the brand. On the other hand, Combs's lawsuit argues that Diageo neglected his brands and impeded their growth potential.

Diageo stated in its motion to dismiss that Combs has proven to be an unreliable and untrustworthy business partner. Forbes ranked Combs as the 14th highest-paid entertainer in 2022, primarily due to his partnership with Ciroc vodka. Additionally, in November 2022, he made a $185 million deal to purchase cannabis retail stores and production facilities, becoming the chairman and CEO of the largest Black-owned cannabis business.

Combs expressed his aspirations for his marijuana company to become the "Diageo of cannabis."

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  • Diageo Ends Partnership with Diddy Amidst Liquor Lawsuit Alleging Racial Discrimination and Unfair Brand Promotion
  • Brandon Broadnax