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January 31, 2014

Boston Magazine Marathon Cover Image Copied, But Editor Takes It In Stride

Boston Magazine Marathon Tribute Cover The Bath Magazine Copied Image Heart Shoes Half Marathon Controversy Magazine CoversA United Kingdom magazine created a copycat image of Boston magazine’s marathon tribute cover. But rather than lash out at their colleagues across the pond, the editors draw on the spirit of the cover at the heart of the issue.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so the saying goes, but that doesn’t mean it is always well-received or, in the case of the recent copycat Boston magazine cover, well-timed.

Most, if not all, of us probably remember the May 2013 Boston magazine cover—an image of marathon runners’ donated shoes arranged in a heart around the headline “We Will Finish the Race” to serve as a tribute to those injured or killed in the bombing just a few weeks before.

Apparently unaware of that cover, The Bath Magazine—a monthly that covers the United Kingdom city of the same name—used a similar image to promote an upcoming half marathon there.

Hoping to convey the inclusiveness of the event and Valentine’s Day on its February cover, the magazine editors found no suitable stock image and instead created their own—dozens of running shoes arranged in a heart on a black background.

Once The Bath Magazine was made aware of the similarity to last year’s Boston cover—and flooded with often vitriolic comments and feedback on social media—editor Steve Miklos apologized and announced that a new cover with a different image would be printed.

Miklos explains in an open letter from the magazine that: “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 realize we have made an error of judgment by not fully realising its connotations in the States.”

That’s fair enough. But if you thought that Boston magazine editors—the ones who you’d think might be most offended by the cover—lashed out, well, you’d be wrong.

In response to the copycat controversy, Boston magazine editor Carly Carioli wrote in an open letter to The Bath Magazine: “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.”

The One Fund was established to help support those affected by last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, and reprints of Boston magazine’s May cover helped raise money for the charity.

As part of Miklos’ apology on behalf of The Bath Magazine, he said the publishers would contribute to the Boston One Fund as a goodwill gesture.



About the Author

Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan
Michelle Ryan is obsessed with good food, great shoes and Alabama football way down South in Savannah, Georgia. She hasn’t met a kitchen gadget she hasn’t at least thought about buying (trying them is another story) and devotes her time to Bikram Yoga, baking and trying to overcome long-held finicky eating habits.