UK Magazine Apologises For Copying Boston Magazine’s Poignant Bombing Tribute Front Cover

The Bath Magazine says sorry for copying the famous shoe cover.

1. This the front cover of February’s edition of The Bath Magazine.

The independent monthly magazine distributes about 20,000 copies and this month was previewing the Bath half marathon in March.

2. Look familiar? This is the cover of Boston Magazine after the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013, in which three people were killed and more than 250 people injured.

3. Boston Magazine on Tuesday wrote an open letter to The Bath Magazine, which said:

Dear Bath Magazine,

Last spring, as we tried to figure out how best to honor the resilience of our city in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, we asked runners to lend us the shoes they wore in the race. In turn, their shoes, and the cover we produced, helped us to raise over $125,000 for the One Fund, the charity established here to benefit those affected by the bombing.

You liked the shoes cover so much that you borrowed (others have used less charitable phrases) the concept for your February issue on the half marathon in Bath.

We can’t speak for the dozens of runners who donated their shoes to us for that image. We can’t speak for the runners who are preparing to run this April. But we hope that if you were so bold as to borrow our idea, you will also borrow the spirit of that cover—and make a significant donation to the One Fund in the name of those who were unable to finish the race.

4. A lot of people were offended by what they saw as trivialising a tragic event.

Love it how The Bath Magazine has just offended millions of Americans, what are the odds

— Ben Brown (@benbrown22)

7. The Bath Magazine apologised last night and promised a fuller apology online later.

We would like to make an unreserved apology for any upset or offence caused by our latest cover. This was clearly not our intention.

— The Bath Magazine (@TheBathMagazine)

We are truly sorry and embarrassed for what has happened. We shall be looking into this immediately and post a full apology in due course

— The Bath Magazine (@TheBathMagazine)

9. If this shows anything it’s that even small regional titles operate in a global media marketplace.

As Boston Magazine points out, the shoes in their cover image were donated by Boston Marathon runners and raised $125,000 for the charity set up in the wake of the bomb. It wasn’t just a great-looking cover.

You can take inspiration from other people’s ideas - that’s natural - but borrowing from a a famous and inspirational magazine cover isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to be ignored, even in Bath.

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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