H&M logo
via Manfred Sauke / CC-BY-2.5

After denying any wrongdoing in featuring graffiti artist REVOK’s work in a recent campaign, when he fired off a cease-and-desist, H&M is now backpedaling on its stance.

If you haven’t been following the story, REVOK fired off a legal doc to the retailer recently, demanding they immediately stop the use of his work, which was featured in the background of a recent ad campaign. H&M responded back, claiming REVOK had no legal copyright claim, because the “art work” in question was done so illegally at William Sheridan Playground handball court in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Once the news hit, generations of graffiti artists called for an all-out boycott of H&M, with some actually vandalizing H&M storefronts around the globe.

Following widespread backlash, H&M is now changing its tune.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, the company said “we should have acted differently”.

H&M is now dropping its case, and now says it respects art and artists. “H&M respects the creativity and uniqueness of artists, no matter the medium,” the statement read. “We should have acted differently in our approach to this matter. It was never our intention to set a precedent concerning public art or to influence the debate on the legality of street art. As a result, we are withdrawing the complaint filed in court. We are currently reaching out directly to the artist in question to come up with a solution.”

The current status of the situation is unclear. But, as of the statement (March 15), REVOK’s attorney said H&M had not dropped the case yet.

As of press time, the webpage in question (using the art work) had been removed.