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posted: 10/30/2013 2:07 PM

Celebrity-store partnership runs risks

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  • The Rev. Al Sharpton, standing with Mark Lee, left, CEO of Barneys New York, addresses member of the media, at the National Action Headquarters in New York, after they and other community leaders discussed allegations of racial profiling. Two black customers recently claimed they were detained by police on suspicion of credit card fraud after lawfully purchasing expensive items.

    The Rev. Al Sharpton, standing with Mark Lee, left, CEO of Barneys New York, addresses member of the media, at the National Action Headquarters in New York, after they and other community leaders discussed allegations of racial profiling. Two black customers recently claimed they were detained by police on suspicion of credit card fraud after lawfully purchasing expensive items.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

When big-name celebrities pair up with big businesses, customers often believe the adage: You are the company you keep. Rap artist Jay-Z is learning that firsthand. He has complained this week that he's been unfairly "demonized" because he hasn't backed out of his collaboration with Barneys New York after the luxury retailer was accused of racially profiling two black customers.

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