US: Diageo speaks out over Pharrell Williams Qream lawsuit

By | 15 January 2013

The product was launched in July 2011

The product was launched in July 2011

Diageo has claimed that a US$5m lawsuit launched against it by hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams “lacks merit”. 

The artist and producer filed the lawsuit in the US last week on the basis that Diageo breached an agreement it had with Williams over the vodka-based cream liqueur, Qream. The two parties teamed up to launch Qream in the US market in July 2011

However, according to copies of court documents, obtained by the website, Diageo told Williams it was shutting down the business in July last year, halfway through the initial term of the agreement. Among Williams' claims are that Diageo has put “no effort” into producing or distributing the drink and he lost out on other "concrete" tie-up opportunities. 

However, Diageo says the product is still available in the US. In an emailed statement to just-drinks today (15 January), a company spokesperson said: "It is unfortunate that plaintiffs chose to bring this lawsuit, as Diageo believes that the plaintiffs’ claims lack merit.

"Qream Créme Liqueur continues to be available for sale as one of the many new-to-world brands originating from Diageo’s innovation pipeline,” the spokesperson added.

Expert analysis

Liqueurs in United States to 2015: Databook

ICD Research’s, 'Liqueurs in United States to 2015: Databook' contains detailed historic and forecast liqueurs category consumption analysis, segmented at a category level.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Diageo

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