December 6, 2022

Springswines

The Tour And Travel Enthusiasts

Vogue magazine says sorry in framed letter to pub owners for same name legal threat

4 min read
Vogue magazine says sorry in framed letter to pub owners for same name legal threat

Legal team at publisher Conde Nast sent ‘cease and desist’ letter to owners of 200-year-old pub in even older village with the same name as fashion title

Mark Graham
Mark Graham, owner of The Star Inn in Vogue, St Day, Cornwall with the letter from the magazine’s owner

International magazine Vogue has apologised in a framed letter for getting it wrong and threating to sue a 200-year-old pub with the same name.

Condé Nast, the publication’s owner, submitted legal action against The Star Inn at Vogue. But the hostelry in Cornwall, near Redruth, is more than two centuries old and the village of Vogue is even older.

The publisher’s legal team in New York sent publicans Mark and Rachel Graham a “cease and desist” letter threatening them if they didn’t stop using the name Vogue. The couple replied to Sabine Vandenbroucke, chief operating officer at the magazine, sparking an online storm.

Now the title has said that when the couple changed their legal trading status from a partnership to a limited company and the name Star Inn Vogue popped up on Companies House, it decided to act.

It said: “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.”







Vogue in Cornwall boasts a name that is hundreds of years old
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Image:

James Dadzitis / SWNS)

CornwallLive reported the pub couple’s amusing response criticising Vogue for not bothering to Google the Cornish village’s name. The 60-year-old publican made a point that Vogue should have asked villagers’ permission for using the name of their village, not the other way round.

“I presume your magazine bases its name on the dictionary term for being in fashion which is uncapitalised as used in the Oxford English Dictionary. If a member of your staff had taken the time to investigate they would have discovered that our company, The Star Inn, is in the small village of Vogue, near St Day, Cornwall.







Mark and Rachel Graham are the current owners of the 200-year-old Star Inn
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Image:

James Dadzitis / SWNS)

“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.

“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”. He added: “Whilst I found your letter interesting on the one hand, I also found it hilariously funny.

Mr Graham concluded by saying: “In answer to your question whether we would change our name, it is a categorical NO.”







Mark Graham says name of pub is a Cornish word, not English
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Image:

James Dadzitis / SWNS)

Condé Nast admitted it may have been a bit hasty with its use of legal threats and should have made better use of the Google search engine instead, prompting Christopher P Donnellan, from Condé Nast Publications Limited’s legal department, to write another letter to Mark and Rachel.

It read: “Many thanks for your letter dated March 15, 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 May 18.”

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