Vogue magazine retracts request for Cornish pub name change

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cease-and-desist: Vogue magazine retracts name change request for Cornish pub and admits it should have done more research (Credit: Getty/Michał Chodyra)
Cease-and-desist: Vogue magazine retracts name change request for Cornish pub and admits it should have done more research (Credit: Getty/Michał Chodyra)

Related tags: Cornwall, Legal, Branding + marketing

Condé Nast, the parent company of fashion magazine Vogue, has withdrawn its request for a Cornish pub to change its name following a cease-and-desist letter sent earlier this year.

Licensees of the Star Inn at Vogue in the hamlet of Vogue, St Day, Cornwall​, Mark and Rachel Graham, received the initial letter on Tuesday 1 March, stating the word ‘vogue’ must be removed from the pub’s name to avoid an affiliation between the two businesses being inferred.

Mark Graham told The Morning Advertiser​: “[At first] I thought it was some local playing a practical joke.

“From a company ​as big as that, that didn't take the time to look into anything, it's a bit of an insult they went straight for the jugular.

“I'm a proud Cornishman ​and they should have looked up what Vogue is first and the whole concept of Cornwall before they sent such a nasty letter.

Community spirit 

“This my home, it’s an absolutely lovely village, brilliant locals and a very big community ​spirit. Everybody looks after everyone and it means everything to me.

“We are a village pub, they are a fashion magazine, how they ever thought people will get the two confused, I don't know.

“[In] answer to [their] question whether we would change the name of our company, it is a categoric no.”

Graham, who along with his wife has called the more than 200-year-old pub home for 17 years, promptly replied to Condé Nast stating he doubted the publication had sought permission from the community in Vogue before using it as the name of the magazine when it began in 1916.

Furthermore, the licensee explained he doubted singer Madonna had sought permission from the village or the magazine for her 1990 single of the same name, but that both were free to use the word Vogue, which was originally a traditional Cornish word, with the hamlet’s blessing.

The Morning Advertiser ​has contacted Condé Nast for a response and had not received one at the pub of publication, according to national reports, Condé Nast has replied to Graham apologising for not conducting thorough research.

Best wishes 

As reported in The Mirror​, the company said: “Many thanks for your letter dated 15 March 2022, and for responding with more information about your business and the hamlet of Vogue.

"We were grateful for your response and to learn more about your business in this beautiful part of our country.

"I am sure you will appreciate why we regularly monitor use of the name Vogue, including at Companies House (which is how we were alerted to your company name).

"However, you are quite correct to note that further research by our team would have identified that we did not need to send such a letter on this occasion.

"Everyone at Conde Nast wishes you and everyone in Vogue best wishes for a happy summer, and for your upcoming 'American Night' on 18 May."

Related topics: Property law

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