The Insincerest Form of Flattery



Note: originally published 19th May, 2015 – and updated 27th May and 1st June.

When we launched FCK LDN about 18 months ago, Vice UK posted an advert on JournoGrads a few weeks later looking for new contributors in all the same cities that we were looking for contributors. We shrugged it off at the time. We were a bit flattered, if anything.

Now, Vice offshoot Noisey has come up with a very original idea. It’s trailed a series of stories about music scenes and culture outside the capital.

They’re calling it Fuck London. And we’re a bit upset. *

The real FCK LDN is a small start-up with just a handful of contributors. None of us makes any money from what we do. In fact, we’re losing money on web hosting, advertising and time spent creating content.

Vice – on the other hand – is a global brand with bureaus in every continent.They have a film production company, a record label, and a publishing imprint as well as localised websites and subsidiaries.

In their Fuck London series of pieces, is using the same USP as us – which is that we cover culture everywhere in the UK but London. That part, to be honest, isn’t what’s bugging us. FCK LDN was set up in January 2014 to encourage more coverage of culture in our regions.

But they are also using near identical branding to do it – and that’s out of order. It’s beyond cynical.

Please share this among your music and culture loving chums everywhere to let them know what’s going on – but to also let them know that FCK LDN exists.

We will continue to champion you and review your gigs and records, the festivals you go to and the culture you love. We will continue to represent views and values outside London long after Noisey and Vice have moved on to something else.

We don’t say “Fuck London” as an ironic, edgy aside. We mean it.

Love always,


* UPDATE 27/05/2015 – It turns out that it’s worse. Noisey launched a sporadic column called “Fuck London”, covering the same territory as us, in March of 2014 – publishing 8 stories with this branding since then.  (We’ve since discovered that items were tagged “Fuck London” retroactively and the branding was applied recently.)

We launched in January of 2014, starting our search for contributors on social media before posting our first content in April of 2014. Suddenly, that advert in JournoGrads makes a lot more sense…

We reached out to Noisey via email on the 22nd of May. They have yet to reply. The new series of Fuck London stories has yet to appear.

* UPDATE 01/06/2015 – Noisey UK launched their Fuck London “hub” on the 1st of June.

* UPDATE  01/06/2015 – It now appears that some of the articles tagged Fuck London on Noisey were tagged retroactively…

Here’s the earliest piece – a feature about lovely Manchester band James as it appears today.

Notice the prominent “Fuck London” branding. This was originally published on 21st of March – the same day our Twitter account was born.

And here it is three days after it was originally published.

Thanks to the Wayback Machine we can actually see what the article looked like on the 24th of March 2014. No “Fuck London” branding…

After: A piece originally published on the 21st of March 2014 - retroactively  tagged "Fuck London".

After: A piece originally published on the 21st of March 2014 – retroactively tagged “Fuck London” in the last two weeks.

Before: How the piece appeared three days after its original publication...

Before: How the piece appeared three days after its original publication on 21st March 2014…