MANHATTAN (CN) – Jay-Z let more than $35 million in sales evaporate by refusing to promote fragrances branded with his name, a perfume maker claims in court.
Parlux Fragrances filed the suit Monday evening in Manhattan Supreme Court, describing a litany of the rapper’s failures at promote the Gold Jay Z brand, which was allegedly introduced in October 2013 to “rave reviews” from department stores and customers.
As part of the licensing agreement with Jay, whose real name is Shawn Carter, Parlux claims that it gave the rapper 300,000 shares in common-stock of parent company Perfumania Holdings, in addition to 800,000 warrants for future stock purchases.
Carter nevertheless refused to make public appearances, mention the fragrance on social media or let Women’s Wear Daily interview him about it, according to the complaint.
Parlux says it conceived of a branding campaign in which contestants could win a gold chain with an 18-carat gold pendant of the fragrance bottle made by rapper-favorite Jacob the Jeweler.
The team proffered a bottle prototype to Jay’s team, but “Mr. Carter rejected all of them and kept the prototype gold bottle,” the complaint says.
Continuing his pattern of nonresponsiveness in 2015, the rapper allegedly refused to meet with Parlux about “flanker” fragrances, new lines of fragrance under the Gold Jay Z line meant to capitalize on the success of the earlier brand.
Parlux says it presented ideas for new lines called Gold Jay Z Noir, Gold Jay Z Paris Lights and Gold Jay Z London Underground.
After a member of S. Carter Enterprises rebuffed the idea – saying they were “super busy” on another project – the flankers were never introduced, according to the complaint.
Parlux says this upset department stores that have since dropped the original Gold Jay Z product.
Carter’s inaction has resulted in the company bringing in $14 million on the fragrance line, below the $50 million projected.
Parlux and Perfumania seek punitive damages, return of their stock and stock options, and rescission of the licensing deal, alleging breach of contract and bad faith.
They are represented by Anthony Viola of Mintz Levin.
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