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The xx’s Record Label Calls Out Hugo Boss Ad on Plagiarism

“As a firm built around original design, isn’t it odd that you’d pay for such a poorly disguised fake?” tweeted label Young Turks

The xx

Romy Madley Croft of The xx.

Caitlin Mogridge/Redferns

On their 2009 debut LP, the xx emerged with a minimalist style built on probing synth textures and chiming guitars. Critics were bewitched by the sound, as, apparently, were advertisers: As Pitchfork reports, a 2014 ad campaign from fashion company Hugo Boss – in which a sharp-dressed man drives around while sporting sunglasses – features a soundtrack that sounds eerily similar to the xx’s “Intro.” And on Friday, the band’s label, Young Turks, blasted Hugo Boss on Twitter. “As a firm built around original design, isn’t it odd that you’d pay for such a poorly disguised fake?,” wrote the label.

The label also retweeted responses agreeing with the accused plagiarism: “It’s not even trying for a disguise,” reads one comment. “Same key, bpm, proportions, melodies…wow.” Another individual wrote, “If @hugoboss can rip off The XX, can we buy ripoffs of their sunglasses?” Earlier in the week, when a user tweeted a link to the commercial to the label, Young Turks responded by calling the campaign “so gross.” 

Hugo Boss did not respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone

Below, compare the ad with the xx’s “Intro.”

The xx began work on their third LP – their first since 2012’s Coexist – earlier this year in Marfa, Texas. In April, the band posted on Facebook, “We are writing + recording in Texas,” and they followed with a number of updates throughout that month. Their songwriting and recording journey has also taken them to Iceland: “For the past few weeks we have been writing and recording in Reykjavik,” the band wrote in August, calling the city “a truly unique, beautiful and hugely inspiring place.”

In This Article: The xx

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