February 1, 2023

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Vogue is suing Drake and 21 Savage for fake front pages

The editor of Vogue has sued Drake and 21 Savage for posting and distributing a fake Vogue cover as part of their Her Loss ad campaign. The lawsuit, reported by TMZ and viewed by Pitchfork, alleges that Drake and 21 Savage also professionally reprinted and distributed an entire issue of Vogue with the fake cover in several North American cities, leading fans to believe the magazines were genuine. The magazine was unchanged on the inside, aside from having the album title scrawled across various pages and in one case, according to the lawsuit, Drake was photoshopped into an image.

In an Oct. 30 Instagram post cited in the lawsuit, Drake wrote: “Me and my brother at the kiosk tomorrow!! Thank you @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support at this historic moment.” The fake cover was also featured on flyers, mirroring the usual rollout campaign for new Vogue covers, the suit claims. Pitchfork has emailed representatives from Drake and 21 Savage for comment. (Condé Nast and Vogue’s parent company, Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., officially filed the lawsuit. Pitchfork is also owned by Condé Nast and Advance.)

The lawsuit goes on to cite news articles and social media posts that were written under the impression that the cover was genuine. “The accompanying cover story has yet to be published,” HotNewHipHop wrote, “but when it does, rest assured that it will be filled with all sorts of interesting information about the prolific rhymers and their work—both past and present and future – will be crammed.”

The fake Vogue cover was the first in a series of parodies that made up the Her Loss media campaign. NPR exposed a pseudo “tiny desk concert” filmed in a room almost identical to the NPR office. Howard Stern himself took part in a segment of The Stern Show that was not aired as part of an official episode. And “Saturday Night Live” and “A Colors Show” have been the subject of similar shows.

In the days leading up to the album’s release, Vogue’s parent company Condé Nast asked the duo to “take remedial action to curb further public confusion,” but those requests were denied, according to the lawsuit. The company’s allegations include trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising. It is seeking multiple claims for damages, including compensation equal to three times the profits from the album and magazine or three times the legal damages, whichever is greater.