Money Matters - Simplified

Carly Simon sues Starbucks for poor CD sales

Meanwhile, Starbucks has issued a statement on Monday in which the coffee giant claims it met all its contractual obligations and that the album received "a tepid response" from buyers

Los Angeles, October 13 -- Singer Carly Simon is suing the coffee conglomerate Starbucks Corp. for not doing enough to promote her recent album, "This Kind of Love", according to multiple tabloid reports.

The 64-year-old singer-songwriter’s CD “This Kind of Love” was released April 29, 2008 by Starbucks' music arm Hear Music. But the album did not do well in the markets.

Now, Simon says her CD generated lackluster sales only because the coffee company’s now-defunct music venture didn't adequately promote her album.

According to the New York Times, in 2007, Simon signed with Starbucks label Hear Music, which lured her with marketing plan and vowed to play her album frequently.

Instead, the singer says, Starbucks "scaled back its involvement in the music business," just five days before the release of her 14-track Brazilian-influenced album.

Starbucks sued for withdrawal
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is now taking Starbucks to court for withdrawing involvement in its music label Hear Music, mere five days before her album’s release on April 29, 2008.

Simon filed a lawsuit through her lawyer David Boies on Friday, seeking US$5 million to $10 million from Starbucks.

In her lawsuit, Simon alleges that Hear Music presented her with a big marketing plan to promote her album "This Kind of Love". The coffee company pledged at the time that the album would be extensively marketed and distributed at Starbucks locations in the United States and in Canada.

But, Simon says, Starbucks withdrew from Hear Music with no prior notice to her that resulted in poor album sales.

According to Neilson Soundscan, 124,000 copies of Simon’s “This Kind of Love” have been sold so far.

Simon alleges Starbucks originally offered her an advance of $750,000 to $1 million, but by the time her lawyer received the final contract, the advance had dropped to $575,000.

The singer, whose string of hits during the 1970s and '80s include Anticipation, You're So Vain, and Nobody Does It Better, is suing Starbucks for deceit, tortuous interference and “unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices”.

Starbucks’ response to Simon’s claims
Meanwhile, Starbucks has issued a statement on Monday, in which the coffee giant claims it met all its contractual obligations and that the album received "a tepid response" from buyers.

“Unfortunately, sales continued to lag as the title received tepid response from music consumers,” Starbucks said in a statement released Monday. “Other retailers faced the same fate with this CD.”

A Starbucks spokeswoman, Sanja Gould, said: “We are disappointed to hear that she may be taking this action,” adding that “Starbucks has great respect for Ms. Simon and is hopeful that this matter can be resolved in an amicable manner.”