US: Diageo speaks out over Pharrell Williams Qream lawsuit
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 allhiphop.com, 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.
In a recently-published global briefing 'Diageo in Spirits', Euromonitor International's senior alcoholic drinks analyst Jeremy Cunnington takes a look at what are the challenges facing Diageo in spi...
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