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Celebrity Endorsement or Celebrity Embarrassment

October 4, 2011

A couple of days ago, rapper and Ciroc Vodka Spokesman Sean “Diddy” Combs berated someone at a party for not drinking his vodka.  Seriously??  Are you really that small, Sean? Video is here

I have nothing against celebrity endorsement: it has been a part of the industry for years, but I do have a problem with someone acting the way Combs did. Why?  Simple.  Vodka, though it is the number one selling spirit in the world, has a shaky and questionable reputation amidst craft mixologists.  Is has been asked whether vodka is a viable spirit category, and some bars even choose not to carry vodka in response the question of viability.  Personally I have argued in the past that vodka IS useful in many ways.

But then here comes someone with an attitude about his spirit, and gets in someone else’s face for drinking something a rival spirit.  Even if it was a sponsored party (which is wasn’t), and I had been invited, I would have had one drinkof Ciroc….maybe….out of obligation.  But I am not a vodka drinker, and would have switched to something else as well.

Imagine someone standing outside a shop screaming at people for going anywhere else.  Not cool!  Not Good.  Bad image.  And maybe Ciroc wants to go with the bad boy image, but does the spokesman have to act like a child? “If you’re not gonna play MY WAY then I’m not gonna be your friend!”

I hope the Ciroc executives choose to step up like the ESPN execs did with Hank Jr.  It is uncalled for behavior.

Diddy did apologize for his acts via Twitter and did so repeatedly.  I commend him for that.  But I do suggest he make a phone call and personally apologize to those that were directly involved.  I hope he is truly sorry.  Anyone else in any other business would have been fired the next day.

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