Celebrity Endorsement We Are Watching
"A champagne brand that partnered with Drake is suing the liquor store chain Total Wine, alleging that the retailer tanked their brand over animus toward the artist.
Mod Selection filed suit against the company, claiming Total Wine and the distributor Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits failed to market the champagne as a high-end brand because of its association with Drake. Drizzy is not a party to the suit, but Mod claims to have evidence that Southern Glazer "repeatedly subjected [Drake] to browbeating and dismissive treatment." In their version of events, Drake claimed the treatment was motivated by bigotry. Mod says he was upset with the distributors for marketing the champagne as hip-hop-centered, as opposed to a high-end drink that just happens to have the artist's endorsement.
"The product is great, the presentation is great, and hopefully the representation is great as well," Drake said in a promo video announcing his partnership with the company in 2019, per Drinks Business. "We'll enjoy this run. It should be a long one and a strong one. I think the full package is there."
Drizzy was also seen holding a bottle of the champagne while receiving his Billboard Music Award for Best Male Artist in early 2019:
Though Drake has not commented on the lawsuit publicly, and is not involved in the proceedings, lawyers for Mod told TMZ they have texts from Drake complaining about his treatment by Southern Glazer. The deal ultimately collapsed, with the company reportedly further tarnishing Mod's reputation by liquidating their stock at well below the suggested retail price of $300-400.
Mod Selection argues that this embarrassing clearance sale was the point, calling it a "predetermined plan to kill the Mod Selection Champagnes brand by dumping the product at brand-damaging discounted prices in the U.S. and abroad." Complex Alex Galbraith
February 3, 2021