Estee Lauder Companies

May 26, 2006 08:59 ET

Sean "Diddy" Combs New Ad Sparks Controversy - "Unforgivable" the new fragrance by Sean John

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - May 26, 2006) - Sean "Diddy" Combs will launch his first fragrance "Unforgivable" in the UK next week, supported by print, radio, TV and in-store advertising. The fragrance will be available exclusively in Selfridges and will roll-out nationwide in July.

The public will get to see the ad that America deemed too "hot" and "overly sexual" when it debuts in Arena, GQ, Dazed & Confused, ES magazine and Sunday Times Style.

The ad was rejected by the majority of retailers across the US. Many stores, especially in the conservative Midwest and Bible Belt, refused to display it, deeming it "morally offensive" to their conservative customer base.

The image portrays Combs lying in bed with a white woman and an Asian woman, giving the impression that they'd just had sex. Estee Lauder Companies, the fragrance's parent company, has responded to the US store's concerns by re-shooting a new "store-friendly" ad. However, the original ad will still be used in the UK market.

"People are afraid of what they don't understand" - Sean "Diddy" Combs

"We believe the ads represent the true spirit of "Unforgivable." This fragrance is about a man who lives his life with passion and unapologetically; we respect Sean Combs' creative perspective and support him in his vision. While it's unfortunate that some US retailers were so uncomfortable with something with that much sexual presence, we respect their decision to do what is right for them" - John Demsey, Global President, Estee Lauder

ENDS

Note to editor: copy of the ad is attached. High resolution jpg is available.

Sean John Fragrances is a division of MAC Inc., which is a subsidiary of the Estee Lauder Companies Inc., one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, make up, fragrance and hair care products. The Company's products are sold in over 130 countries and territories under well-recognized brand names, including Estee Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Origins, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Crème de la Mer, Donna Karan, Aveda, Jo Malone, Bumble and Bumble, Darphin, Michael Kors and Missoni.

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