It has come to my attention that one of the quotes from FrÃ©dÃ©ric Rouzaud of Cristal was incorrectly attributed to him, when the words were actually those of the article’s author. Apparently the "unwelcomed attention" statemant was not in fact made by Rouzaud. This leaves the two sentences that he did utter when asked whether he felt the relationship between hip hop and the high priced champagne could be detrimental to his company:
"What can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business."
Like I said over in the comments of Clyde’s post about the misquotation, the lack of the phrase "unwelcomed attention" does somewhat minimize the impact of the allegation. However, I still feel like a company who has reaped millions of dollars in revenue, plus enjoyed God only knows how much free advertising could at least sound a little more welcoming of our patronage. (Of course when I say ‘our’ I mean the ballers who actually buy this stuff.)
Some people have suggested that the comments were perfectly reasonable when you take the product’s reputation and upscale clientele into consideration. To those people I say: bullshit. When I look at rappers nowadays, I see just as many wearing Gucci suits and being chauffeured around in Rolls Royce’s as I do guys in baggy jeans shooting at one another outside radio stations.
Does hip hop have issues? Of course it does, but you can’t tell me that the wealthy businessmen and socialites that also purchase this stuff are squeeky clean. I’m sure if we were all aware of some of the stuff these guys are guilty of, they’d make people like 50 Cent and Suge Knight look like altar boys.
Anyway, I say that to say this: I could care less about the image of your brand. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the activities that your customers are involved in, at the very least you should show some appreciation for their patronage or else keep your mouth shut. The idea that people can spend money on a product and then be talked down to because of the actions of a few is wholly absurd.
Anyway, today Louis Roederer Cristal issued the following statement:
"A house like Louis Roederer would not have existed since 1776 without being totally open and tolerant to all forms of culture and art, including the most recent musical and fashion styles which — like hiphop — keep us in touch with modernity."