The company alleged the rappers’ promotional campaign for “Her Loss” was “built entirely on the use of the Vogue marks and the premise that Drake and 21 Savage would be featured on the cover of Vogue’s next issue,” according to a complaint filed on Monday in a Manhattan federal court. “All of this is false. And none of it has been authorized by Condé Nast.”
Reps for Condé Nast and Drake did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
Condé Nast also claimed the two rappers created and distributed counterfeit issues of Vogue that were distributed in “North America’s largest metropolitan areas,” alongside posters of the faux cover. Those magazines included a photoshopped collage of Drake posing with a young Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Drake posted photos of the fake magazine cover to his Instagram, writing “Me and my brother on newsstands tomorrow!! Thanks @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support on this historic moment. Her Loss Nov 4th.”
The legal docs further emphasized Wintour “had no involvement in ‘Her Loss’ or its promotion,” and did not endorse it in any way, adding the result was “unmistakable” confusion among the public, including media that anticipated Drake and 21 Savage as Vogue’s “new cover stars.”
Condé Nast was in communication with both rappers in the weeks leading up to the release of “Her Loss,” but the suit claims the duo’s “flippant disregard for Condé Nast’s rights have left it with no choice but to commence this action.”
The global media company is seeking at least $4 million in damages — or triple the defendants’ profits from their album and “counterfeit” magazine. They are also asking for the fake magazine images to be removed from the rappers’ social media and websites, punitive damages and termination of any further trademark infringement.
Vogue was just one of many fake press and interview clips that circulated in the week leading up to “Her Loss.” The duo made fake appearances on “The Howard Stern Show” and NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” although both media giants appeared to enjoy the attention.
“Drake did such a good job that news outlets are reporting on it as if it’s real, and that’s sort of the weird thing about our lives now,” commented Stern during his Monday show. NPR posted a news story on their official website making it clear they were open to the possibility.
Drake and 21 Savage also staged a fake “Saturday Night Live” performance of “On BS,” which was shared to Instagram and YouTube on Nov. 6. The performance included an introduction by actor Michael B. Jordan, who pretended to be the “SNL” host while presenting the performance.
The faux promo cycle seems to show no signs of slowing down as they also delivered a fake “COLORS” performance of “Privileged Rappers,” on Monday night.
From Variety US