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Pharrell Williams Sues Diageo for $5 Million Rapper alleges spirits giant broke distro contract

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Pharrell Williams has sued marketing partner Diageo North America for $5 million in a New York City federal court, claiming the spirits giant has failed to distribute the rapper’s “Qream with a Q” (or simply “Qream”) alcoholic beverage to the terms of their contract.
According to papers obtained by Allhiphop.com, the lawsuit alleges that in July 2012, Diageo abruptly told Williams that it would discontinue Qream distribution after two years of marketing the brand. The lawsuit reads, per Allhiphop.com, that Williams “turned away other concrete opportunities to collaborate with other alcoholic beverage distributors on a partnership, in favor of proceeding with Diageo.”
In an email sent to Adweek, a Diageo spokesperson wrote, “It is unfortunate that the plaintiffs chose to bring this lawsuit, as Diageo believes the plaintiffs’ claims lack merit. QREAM Creme Liqueur continues to be available for sale as one of the many new-to-world brands originating from Diageo’s innovation pipeline.”
Qream is a high-end liquor that’s been marketed to women.


Pharrell Williams Sues Diageo for $5 Million Rapper alleges spirits giant broke distro contract

Posted on

Pharrell Williams has sued marketing partner Diageo North America for $5 million in a New York City federal court, claiming the spirits giant has failed to distribute the rapper’s “Qream with a Q” (or simply “Qream”) alcoholic beverage to the terms of their contract.
According to papers obtained by Allhiphop.com, the lawsuit alleges that in July 2012, Diageo abruptly told Williams that it would discontinue Qream distribution after two years of marketing the brand. The lawsuit reads, per Allhiphop.com, that Williams “turned away other concrete opportunities to collaborate with other alcoholic beverage distributors on a partnership, in favor of proceeding with Diageo.”
In an email sent to Adweek, a Diageo spokesperson wrote, “It is unfortunate that the plaintiffs chose to bring this lawsuit, as Diageo believes the plaintiffs’ claims lack merit. QREAM Creme Liqueur continues to be available for sale as one of the many new-to-world brands originating from Diageo’s innovation pipeline.”
Qream is a high-end liquor that’s been marketed to women.


Diageo has set a course across Asia aboard a luxury yacht in a new marketing initiative.

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In an effort to win over the affluent in Asia, the company will use a luxury yacht that will set sail from Shanghai and travel to Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and India. At each port, the yacht will be docked for about five days, during which time it will be the setting for a series of events, from large-scale parties to one-on-one conversations with whisky experts.

Asia is one of Diageo’s big focus areas in 2012, and the latest campaign underscores that. Here’s why: Emerging markets account for 40 per cent of its business, with Asia growing in double digits in fiscal 2012; Southeast Asia by itself is up 15 per cent, while greater China follows at 13 per cent.

“We are confident that our investment is reflective of our commitment to this region,” James Thompson, Diageo Asia-Pacific’s chief marketing officer, said when asked about his marketing budget.

This is the first time Diageo has undertaken an initiatve like this, and the company might take the event to Europe as well, Thompson said.

For Diageo, marketing and advertising in the region is about promoting a culture of scotch-whisky drinking to an audience that has only just begun to consume its spirits. Thompson said the company focuses its luxury marketing efforts in Asia in three areas: influencer engagement, physical spaces and engaging people in a unique way.

“What that means is that marketing campaigns have no choice but to be integrated across previously isolated disciplines and available for consumers to engage with on their terms, and not the marketers,’”he said.

Last year, the spirits company opened its first Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai with the aim to guide up-traders on its brands and heritage.

“The luxury market in Asia-Pacific is booming, and for the first time, there are more millionaires in this region than there are in Europe and North America,” Thompson observed. “The new generation of luxury spirit connoisseurs in this region are different from their predecessors in the way they engage with luxury brands.”

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