Universal Music Group Preorder Controversy: Questionable Demi Lovato and Lana Del Rey Autographed Items

Though this is being discussed in other threads, I though it might be best to have a specific topic dedicated to this, as the issue involves one particular label and their clients - who happen to be two of the biggest young music stars in the world right now.

Many fans and autograph collectors were excited to see Lana Del Rey and Demi Lovato offering autographed preorders at rock bottom prices, seemingly a gift to their devoted fans as well as a great promotional tactic to boost album sales. Of course, these were enthusiastically purchased quickly, with Lana's preorders selling out in a matter of about a day. Strangely, sales for Demi's preorders continued for weeks afterward without being cut off, raising question of how a huge superstar who does not like signing tons of autographs planned to tacking what was presumably tens of thousands of orders (these included autographed CDs, vinyl and, most recently, posters priced at only $10).

After weeks of delays, the Lana Del Rey orders began to ship. After hearing one fan contend that the UK signed CDs appeared to be a mixture of authentic Lana signatures and questionable signatures, I was not thrilled when I saw what Universal Music Australia sent me (scan pictured). Without extensive knowledge of Lana's signature, the fact that the signature was slowly drawn in what appeared to be an attempt to duplicate a signature immediately raised red flags. This was certainly not the signature of a young woman who has signed her named numerous times over the past few years. After consulting with a few longtime fans - a couple of whom had met Lana many times - there was little doubt that this autograph was not from the artist herself.

In the following weeks, the UK lithographs became to ship, just before the US releases (CDs and lithos). The immediate consensus was the same - they were not authentic. Many fans with little to no knowledge of what to expect or look for were oblivious to this (or perhaps didn't really care), while others raised immediate questions on social media. Something was decidedly off. 

Meanwhile, the pessimism among some fans crept up regarding how UMG would handle Demi's preorder. If they shipped quickly, they would almost assuredly be autopens or preprints. If Demi actually tried to tackle all of these, it would likely take months - maybe longer. It would appear that the answer is the former. One fan immediately ID'ed the Demi Lovato signatures as distinct autopen patterns (I believe two have been identified thus far) as the first shipments arrived. 

Both Universal and Lana have contested that the signatures are real, which, in my opinion - and that of others - is a pure tactic to cover their backs. Personally, I don't appreciate big companies and big artists using such low tactics to pad album sale stats. And someone clearly didn't put on their thinking cap when considering the possible PR fallout. It never ceases to blow my mind how many of these young, egocentric musicians say they care about their fans while treating them like they're idiots. I've seen enough of it over the years to have virtually no tolerance for it. Fraud, deception and greed should and will be called out.

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Yes there is a PR hit that the company (and artist) take, but thats nothing compared to the hit the autograph hobby takes as again the market is flooded with fakes. 

And not just "any" fakes, Autopens or whatnot sold by the artist or the PR. Really messes things up having folks...your fans...buying and selling essentially preprints to largely unknowing people that originate with the artist and then that email stating "they are hand signed". Not good.

In Lana's case (if they ever officially admit it) she has plausible deniability. She could easily say "I signed X amount of copies I had no idea that so and so over sold and had other people sign for me etc..."

The sad fact is her comment on twitter saying "they are all real" and her diehard fans (much like Demi's young fans) will never doubt it.

It is all about how many albums you can sell and these preorders offering something signed increases the numbers sold for sure. Is it a PR nightmare if it was public? For sure, but as long as you have someone else to take the fall then it is probably worth the risk.

Unfortunately many of these young girls in the industry are managed and manufactured. They themselves deserve blame as it is their image they are selling, but it is these people in charge that know they can make as much money off the "fans" backs.

Sad but true.

I originally thought that to be the case, but Lana took to Twitter herself, and it only proved that her hands are not clean in this matter. 

Ha. Does Lana even run her own Twitter page? That might not even be her responding. It might be the same person who helped sign the forgeries. 

I think it is - or was. She deleted virtually all of her old tweets a couple weeks back.

Many of us have noticed that Fame House (who seems to be handling these orders) is aggressively ignoring requests to cancel the Demi Lovato orders. It's becoming more and more obvious that they're trying to pad Demi's album sale stats to the max, at all costs. 

Seeing more and more posts on Twitter. Not every fan is ignorant, as UMG and these artists seem to assume.

Just a bunch of pretty faces ussd to make money by rich powerful men. That is what most of the pop industry is...

Making awareness of this fact that they are using their fans to sell as many records as possible. You need to get a big music publisher or journalist to write an article on these things because it would grab a bigger audience and public shaming of these record companies and artists will make change happen. I wonder did they ship to California?

on a side note if u order with american express there the best to get your order canceled or do a charge back with.

Someone should send a fake one into PSA or BAS, or do a quick opinion. Then when it comes back bad send the proof to these guys and post it on social media. Maybe do a group fund to send one in, Every one pays a dollar.

but when it comes back good then what.lol

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