Pharrell Williams sues Diageo over Qream failure

16th January, 2013 by Becky Paskin

Pharrell Williams is suing Diageo North America for US$5m, claiming the spirits giant is to blame for the failure of his Q Qream liqueur.

Qream Pharrell Williams

Qream is a collaboration between Pharrell Williams and Diageo

Having launched the liqueur in 2010, the singer/ songwriter alleges that Diageo abruptly told him in July 2012 that they would be discontinuing Qream’s distribution and posting the brand for sale.

In papers filed in a Manhattan federal court, Williams claims: “Diageo NA’s unilateral decision – halfway into the initial term of the agreement – to put no effort in producing or distributing Q Qream fails to meet its contractual obligation to use its commercially reasonable efforts to market and distribute the product throughout the (three-year) term.”

Qream was created as a high-end cream liqueur – available in Strawberry Crème and Peach Crème flavours – specifically for women. However Williams claims the failure of Qream was down to the marketing of the product as a “club drink” rather than a “high-end leisure class” drink.

A spokesperson for Diageo said: “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.”

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