The Bath Magazine, which covers the UK city of Bath, apologized Tuesday after running a cover that looks identical to the iconic cover Boston Magazine ran after the Boston Marathon bombings. The image on the cover of the Bath publication, which celebrates Bath’s half-marathon, is a heart made of dozens of pairs of sneakers that says, “Love the Bath Half.” The original Boston Magazine image also features sneakers that form a heart. In the center of the heart it says, “We will finish the race.”
Bostonians noticed the similar cover and began to send messages of disapproval to The Bath Magazine, which then tweeted from its official account: “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.” Later in the afternoon, that tweet was gone, but another message, “We would like to make an unreserved apology for any upset or offence caused by our latest cover. This was clearly not our intention,” was still up.
Whoever runs the magazine’s Twitter account also tweeted a message to Boston Magazine senior editor S.I. Rosenbaum saying, “[W]e don’t mean to bring up bad memories, just supporting our runners in Bath.” Rosenbaum tweeted back: “By ripping off a cover we made to honor the victims of the marathon bombing? Nice one.”
Boston Magazine put up an official statement about the cover. It says: “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.”
The concept for Boston Magazine’s original cover was thought up by former BMag design director Brian Struble and then deputy design director Liz Noftle.