Sean “Diddy” Combs is suing liquor company Diageo for neglecting to promote his Ciroc and DeLeon brands. In a complaint filed Wednesday, he accused Diageo of racial discrimination, alleging they deemed his Combs Wine and Spirits LLC as “Black brands” that should solely be promoted to the “urban” community.
Diddy claimed that Diageo’s other brands, including Don Julio and Casamigos, received better marketing, and said in the complaint it negatively affected “DeLeon’s sales growth for nearly a decade.” The complaint continues, “[Diageo] now says that, because DeLeon has not yet reached the same sales levels as competing brands Casamigos and Don Julio, Diageo need not provide it with the same scale support.”
He also alleged that a Diageo employee claimed that if he were “‘Martha Stewart,’ his brands would be more widespread.”
Diddy became the face of Ciroc in 2007 and helped the brand increase its sales by more than 3,000%, according to the complaint. They teamed up again in 2013 for DeLeon Tequila, but Diddy said “Diageo consistently fell short of its commitments” on promotion.
Diageo has denied the allegations.
“For more than 15 years, we’ve had a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with Mr. Combs on various business ventures, making significant investments that have resulted in financial success for all involved,” a spokesperson said, per People.
“We are disappointed our efforts to resolve this business dispute amicably have been ignored and that Mr. Combs has chosen to damage a productive and valued partnership. While we respect Mr. Combs as an artist and entrepreneur, his allegations lack merit, and we are confident the facts will show that he has been treated fairly.”
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