Diddy Sues Alcohol Company Diageo For Alleged Racist Neglect Of His Tequila Brand DeLeon


Diddy Sues Alcohol Company Diageo For Alleged Racist Neglect Of His Tequila Brand DeLeon

Sean “Diddy” Combs recently filed a lawsuit against UK-based alcohol company Diageo over claims that they have neglected him and his tequila brand DeLeon. Diddy is also accusing Diageo of racial discrimination, alleging that the company described DeLeon as a “black brand” and “urban.”

Diddy’s LLC, Combs Wine and Spirits, filed the complaint Wednesday (May 31) in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Reportedly, Diddy is seeking a court injunction to convince Diageo to comply with their 2013 joint-venture agreement.

In 2007, Diddy and Diageo teamed up to develop the Ciroc Vodka brand, which has been very successful. In 2013, they joined forces again to purchase DeLeon.

Diddy claims, over the years, Diageo has not properly marketed or invested in DeLeon the same way it has for its other tequila lines like Don Julio or Casamigos. Don Julio and Casamigos are top-selling U.S. tequila brands, representing 12.1% and 12.6% of tequila sales in U.S. retail stores while DeLeon ranks 28th, representing only 0.4% of tequila sales.

In addition, Diddy says his tequila has repeatedly been out of stock at retailers across the country. He suspects this is all due to race, claiming,

“Diageo has typecasted Ciroc and DeLeon, apparently deciding they are ‘Black brands’ that should be targeted only to ‘urban’ consumers.”

According to the court filing, Diageo executive Stephen Rust told the business mogul if he were Martha Stewart, his brands would be distributed to a broader audience.

However, Diageo has reportedly denied the allegations. A company spokeswoman said,

“This is a business dispute, and we are saddened that Mr. Combs has chosen to recast this matter as anything other than that. Our steadfast commitment to diversity within our company and the communities we serve is something we take very seriously.”

P. Diddy

Diddy says he has received no support in branding and marketing DeLeon tequila and now wants Diageo to pay up for failing to comply with the contractual obligations to support his brand. The music mogul would like for DeLeon to get the same treatment as Diageo’s other brands.

The Diageo spokeswoman had this to say:

“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. 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.”

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Authored by: Monique Nicole