JAMAICA: Diageo pulls Red Stripe music sponsorship
Diageo has distanced itself from musical artists who "glorify violence" in Jamaica.
The company's Red Stripe brand has pulled its title sponsorship of live music events on the island, as a result of some Jamaican performers "continuing to propagate violent and anti-social lyrics". Among the events are the 'Reggae Sumfest' and 'Sting', both of which are set to take place in Jamaica this summer.
"The Red Stripe Company has maintained a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the music industry and together we have worked very hard with promoters and artistes to uphold globally acceptable standards," Diageo said late last week.
"Over the years, however, a very negative trend of glorifying violence has crept into some of the music, causing much consternation among well thinking Jamaicans and others at home and abroad."
Despite working with the Coalition of Corporate Sponsors in the country, the continuing use of violent and anti-social lyrics had led to Red Stripe's decision, the company added.
"It is our hope that our action will cause the proponents of this destructive trend in local music to stop and take stock of the negative impact of their actions on the society and seek to make a change.
"Red Stripe looks forward to the time when good sense will prevail and we can see a return to improved quality and standard of music that all Jamaica can be proud of. At that time we will review our position."
Although Diageo did not name specific artists, reggae musician Buju Banton, who is scheduled to play at Sumfest, has been criticised in the past for his use of homophobic lyrics.
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