Bosses at a British vodka company have taken aim at hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre for his plans to release a sparkling vodka drink, accusing the star of copying their product.
The enterprising rap legend announced plans to launch a range of high-class beverages in a joint venture with Drinks America last month (Aug08), with Aftermath Cognac and an 80-proof sparkling vodka being the first products to go on sale.
But executives at 02 have hit out at Dr. Dre for what they consider to be a "poor imitation" of their own fizzy alcohol.
Phillip Maitland, President of International English Distillers Limited, 02's parent company, says in a statement: "I am very complimented that Dr. Dre has recognised how innovative and special our sparkling vodka is and is trying to copy it.
"My concern is that it isn't produced by our patented method and may well turn out to be a very poor imitation."
Maitland, whose company's vodka drink hit shop shelves in the U.S. in January (08), also criticises the rap heavyweight for naming his forthcoming album Detox.
He continues, "I hope that consumers will not be swayed by the celebrity endorsement of a copycat product by Dr. Dre. There are a lot of mixed messages going on, Dre's unreleased album is even called Detox to ad a bitterly ironic twist."