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January 29, 2014

Spot the difference: British magazine apologises for ‘borrowing’ iconic cover

By Darren Boyle

A British magazine has been forced to apologise to Boston Magazine after they lifted a design commemorating victims of the city’s marathon bombing. 

Bath Magazine arranged dozens of running shoes for a front page photograph promoting the city’s half-marathon.

Unfortunately, the image was remarkably similar to a commemorative edition of Boston Magazine in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

In an open letter to Bath Magazine posted on Boston's website, the publication called for a donation to One Fund, which benefits those affected in the April attack.

It said:  "Last spring, as we tried to figure out how best to honour 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 US dollars (GBP75,000) 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.

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"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."

Boston's cover featured dozens of shoes arranged in a heart shape with the statement: "We Will Finish The Race".

The Bath Magazine's version also shows shoes placed in a heart on a black background, but with the slogan: "Love the Bath Half".

In an open letter published on the website of the free magazine, publisher Steve Miklos offered his "sincere apologies" for the cover.

Miklos said the aim of the cover was to reflect the twin themes of the "inclusive nature" of the Bath Half Marathon and Valentine's Day, as it is the February edition.

He said:"Late in the process of creating our front cover we were made aware of the Boston Magazine cover, and while we were inspired by it, we realise we have made an error of judgment by not fully realising its connotations in the States.”

"On a personal note, I ran the half marathon last year during which time I met many runners, each with their own battle to fight and individually determined to finish. Some had suffered personal tragedies and were doing what they could to raise money and beat their own demons.

"I am running the Bath Half on March 2nd and as well as supporting many of our local charities, the magazine will be making a contribution to the Boston One Fund."

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