The British version of swanky magazine Vogue is being hammered in the court of public opinion after sending a cease-and-desist letter to the owner of the Star Inn at Vogue, located in the rural hamlet of Vogue, England.
“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,” wrote Sabine Vandenbroucke, chief operating officer of British Vogue publisher Conde Nast Britain, in an obnoxious letter sent to pub owner Mark Graham.
The small-town publican snapped back against the media conglomerate, winning rave reviews for his witty yet fierce defense of Vogue’s village honor — and its history that predates the founding of the magazine by hundreds of years.
“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 capitalized version you didn’t seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue,” Graham wrote, as reported by CornwallLive.
“I also presume that Madonna did not seek your permission to use the word Vogue (again the capitalized version) for her 1990s song of the same name.”
Keep up with today’s most important news
Stay up on the very latest with Evening Update.
One person suggested on social media that the magazine rename itself “Vague” to avoid any future confusion with the village; another noted it’s ridiculous to think “some people may mistake a pub for a magazine.” Others suggested the village countersue to protect its brand identity.
Lee Bowles noted that the magazine has given the pub priceless publicity.
“What a brilliant advertisement! I’ll definitely be visiting this pub when next in the area,” he wrote.
“There’s always too much a case of the big boys trying to stomp on the little boys, and as soon as I realized what they were trying to do, I went, ‘You’re not having me, my handsome,’” Graham told UK broadcaster ITV.
Vogue is a hamlet in St. Day Parish (pop. 4,400), Cornwall, about 250 miles west of London.