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Vogue Magazine v Vogue Pub

Updated: Jun 13, 2022

Vogue magazine threatens to sue a 200-year-old pub in a tiny Cornish hamlet because they share the same name - claiming it could confuse readers.

Pulling a beer in an English pub

Publicans Mark and Rachel Graham own and run this charming rural boozer in the village of Vogue and when they decided to set their establishment up as a limited company - called The Star Inn at Vogue - they were somewhat surprised to receive a 'cease and desist' order from Conde Nast, publisher of Vogue magazine.

The official missive said: 'We are concerned that the name which you are using is going to cause problems because as far as the general public is concerned a connection between your business and ours is likely to be inferred.'

But Mr Graham, 60, said he could scarcely believe it when he received the warning, telling CornwallLive: 'It seems common sense has taken a backseat on this one. When I opened the letter I thought some b****r in the village was having me on', he added. 'Surely these people can't be serious? In this day and age, someone couldn't be bothered to go onto Google and see that Vogue is a Cornish hamlet that's been here for hundreds of years.'

Mr Graham replied with a long letter of his own - complete with a selection of photos of the pub and street names found in the area, bearing the name Vogue.

In his letter to the New York publisher's London offices, the publican said: 'Yes, that's right, Vogue is the name of our village, which has been in existence for hundreds of years and in fact is a Cornish word, not English.

'I note in your letter that you have only been in existence since 1916 and I presume that at the time when you chose the name Vogue in the capitalised version you didn't seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue.

'I also presume that Madonna did not seek your permission to use the word Vogue (again the capitalised version) for her 1990s song of the same name.

'You are both at liberty to use the uncapitalised version without our permission. As a side note, she didn't seek our permission either.'

He concluded saying: 'In answer to your question whether we would change our name, it is a categorical NO.'

Happily, it was simply a case of over vigilant lawyers who didn't do any proper research. Conde Nast wrote back to apologise and wished the publicans a happy and successful summer. Naturally, a framed copy of all correspondence is now hanging on the wall in the pub and everyone has gone back to relaxing and enjoying their pints.


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