Pansexual comedian Joe Lycett legally changes name to Hugo Boss to troll fashion brand

Joe Lycett holding a BBC visitor pass with the name Hugo Boss

Joe Lycett has changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss to protest the fashion brand’s treatment of small businesses and charities.

The comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett said he had changed his name legally after hearing that Hugo Boss (the company) had sent a cease and desist letters to a number of small businesses and charities which used the word ‘Boss’ in their names.

He pointed to a case involving a Welsh brewery called Boss Brewing, which has spent almost £10,000 on legal and rebranding fees following a complaint from the brand.

After months of negotiations, the Swansea-based firm agreed to change the name of two beers, boss Black and Boss Boss.

“I’s clear that @HUGOBOSS HATES people using their name,” he tweeted.

“Unfortunately for them this week I legally changed my name by deed poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss. All future statements from me are not from Joe Lycett but from Hugo Boss.”

Appearing on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, the pansexual comedian said it had been “a headache” changing his name, but stressed that he wanted to highlight Boss’ actions.

“It’s not fair, nobody is going to confuse beer with Hugo Boss,” he said.

I don’t think I’d splash myself with Heineken in the morning.

“I would like them to stop doing this, stop sending these cease and desist letters, because no-one is confusing these two things.”

Lycett said that he’d like Hugo Boss to reimburse the money they brewery has spent on legal feels and changing labels.

“An apology would be nice,” he added.

The stunt will be explained in further detail in the comedian’s consumer rights series, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, which he said will now have to be renamed.

Hugo Boss didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but issued a statement back in August, when news first broke of its actions towards Boss Brewing.

A spokesperson said: “Following the brewery’s application to register a trade mark, we approached them regarding the use of BOSS in relation to two beer names in the portfolio. This was to avoid conflict and potential misunderstanding regarding the brands BOSS and BOSS Black, which had been used by the brewery but are (longstanding) trademarks of our company.

“The discussions clarified the situation in respect of these two brands as well as in relation to textile merchandising for the future. The brewery is able to proceed with the majority of their products without impact on their current branding.”