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Owner Mark Graham first thought it was a joke when the iconic publication asked his pub to change the name it had had for 200 years or face legal action. The magazine sent a cease and desist letter to The Star Inn at Vogue, which is located in a rural hamlet called Vogue, near Redruth in Cornwall.
Vogue argued that the name could confuse its readers, saying they were concerned that the name you use could cause problems because, as far as the general public is concerned, a connection between your company and ours is likely. to be deducted.
His letter added: ‘Please respond within seven days or we will take corrective action.’
The pub, which is hosting a £10 ‘American night’ next week with karaoke and cream teas, said it had no plans to change its name.
The David vs. Goliath battle also angered the residents of the small hamlet who vowed to fight the demand and fight back.
Mark Graham first thought it was a joke when the publication demanded that his pub be renamed
Mark and Rachel in front of Vogue’s Star Inn
A Royal Navy veteran and former tin miner, Mark, 60, said he had no plans to change the pub’s name and responded with an “ironic” letter.
He said: “I was really surprised to have received it. In fact, when I replied, I started my letter by saying that I found their letter interesting on the one hand and also hilarious.
“We were quite surprised and everyone’s general attitude was just to ask if they had Google – because surely they would realize that we’re not competing in the same league.
“You’d think someone in their office would just look up what we are and realize we’re just a country pub. We don’t woo the same clientele from afar.
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Mark stands next to a road sign for the hamlet near Redruth in Cornwall
Mark holds a copy of Vogue magazine next to the Hamlet sign
“We haven’t had the name for a long time after all – barely 200 years. The ‘at Vogue’ part at the end has been used from time to time, but I’ve been here 17 years and have always used it .”
Mark said he thinks Vogue’s concern may have arisen when he and his wife decided to change their business status from a general partnership to a limited liability company.
He added: “We have no intention of changing our name, and we will no doubt crack as we always have.”
Outraged villagers encouraged Mark to retaliate with cheeky events and newspapers.
He added: “The locals now have unique ideas for revenge. They want me to start a parish magazine called ‘vogue magazine’.
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“The latest idea is also that we want to do a fashion week, ‘Vogue fashion week’, and have a big letterhead done, and then invite all the big magazines and companies to visit us.
“Everyone is ready to participate. It’s become a really fun local story.”
While a small business, Mark said the pub is at the heart of the community – serving from 9am for breakfasts and closing at 11 or 12pm.
Explaining that people couldn’t relate the two businesses, Mark added: “Our clientele is 95 per cent locals. There’s a running joke that any tourist who ends up here is normally lost.
Mark is a Royal Navy veteran and former tin miner
“I also offered to buy lunch for their staff and asked them at the end of the letter to please respond to this letter at your own pace – a dreckly would be appropriate.”
Dreckly is Cornish slang and means “sooner or later”. It was adopted because of the relaxed Cornish lifestyle.
In his letter, Mark wrote: “I assume your magazine is basing its name on the dictionary term for being fashionable which is not capitalized as used in the Oxford English Dictionary.
“If any 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.
“Yes, that’s right, Vogue is the name of our village, which has been around for hundreds of years and is actually a Cornish word, not English.
“I note in your letter that you have only been around since 1916 and I assume that at the time you chose the name Vogue in capital letters you did not seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue.
“I also assume that Madonna didn’t ask your permission to use the word Vogue (again the capitalized version) for her 1990s song of the same name.
“You’re both free to use the uncapped version without our permission. By the way, she didn’t ask for our permission either.”
BBC Radio Cornwall has since reported that Vogue owner Condé Nast has backtracked.
In a memo to Mark and Rachel posted online, Condé Nast said: “I’m sure you’ll understand why we regularly monitor the use of the VOGUE name, including at Companies House (which is how we were alerted to the name of your company).
“However, you are quite right 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 Condé Nast wishes you and everyone at Vogue a great summer and for your next ‘American Night’ on May 18.”
Condé Nast has been approached for comment.