It is common for public figures to put their name on various products, even when they’re seemingly unrelated to that person’s career. Just seeing a celebrity’s name, face, or logo on a product is frequently enough to tempt people into making a purchase, but that alone is not always enough.
When celebrities put their name on a product, it’s usually in their best interest to help promote that product. Seeing a celebrity’s face or name on a product is one thing, but hearing that celebrity talk about that product is another. In return for using their name and likeness and/or their promotional efforts, celebrities with their own product lines usually receive a cut of the profits from that product.
Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, partnered up with Parlux Fragrances in 2013, to create Gold Jay Z, a signature fragrance line. The product was projected to do $50 million in sales, and in return for his participation in the deal, Jay Z received $2 million in royalties and 300,000 shares in Perfumanisa, the parent company of Parlux Fragrances.
Parlux published a press release in fall 2013 in which Donal Loftus, the company’s president, said Jay Z has the Midas touch, which is where his perfume got its name. But Jay Z allegedly did not hold up his end of the bargain.
As part of the deal, Jay Z was allegedly supposed to make at least six public appearances in order to promote the new fragrance. He allegedly did not make any such appearances and also failed to even mention the product on social media. He was also allegedly supposed to meet with Parlux in order to discuss expanding the line to include other fragrances that would flank Gold Jay Z. The various fragrances could have been used to cross promote each other, but without Jay Z’s participation, the fragrance saw only $14 million in sales, less than half what Parlux had anticipated.
As a result, Parlux has filed a $20 million lawsuit against Jay Z in Manhattan Supreme Court, for allegedly failing to hold up his end of the business deal. The $20 million the company is asking for will come from Jay Z returning his $2 million in royalties and $18 million in compensatory damages. The lawsuit is also asking Jay Z to return the 300,000 shares of Perfumania he allegedly collected as part of the agreement. The lawsuit alleges that, had Jay Z shown any interest in promoting the product, it would have done considerably better than the $14 million in sales that it earned.
Despite the company seeking to break off its partnership with Jay Z, the Gold Jay Z fragrance is currently still on display on Perfumania’s website as part of its “featured brands”, which includes products from other famous figures, such as Rihanna, Jessica Simpson, Sofia Vergara, and even Donald Trump. The company has also stated that it will be winding down its partnership with the highly controversial presidential candidate, although the fragrance, Empire by Trump, is also still listed on Perfumania’s website.
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