UK

BBC accused of 'plagiarising' Slay in Your Lane slogan

A BBC Sport poster featuring an image of black British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith reading: 'Slay in your lane.' Image copyright Yomi Adegoke
Image caption The BBC said the poster was "sufficiently far removed" from the Slay in Your Lane brand

The BBC has been accused of plagiarism for using the slogan "Slay In Your Lane" in a women's sport promotion.

Yomi Adegoke, co-author of Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, accused BBC Sport of "ripping off" the title.

She said the poster, featuring an image of black British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, tried to "piggyback" on her trademarked brand's movement.

The BBC said the poster was "sufficiently far removed" from the Slay in Your Lane brand.

The advertising campaign ends on Tuesday.

BBC Sport's #changethegame campaign highlights the amount of live women's sport being shown on TV, radio and digital platforms over the summer.

Also written by Elizabeth Uviebinené, the book Slay in Your Lane explores how being black and female affects different parts of life, including education, work, wealth, dating, and health.

Adegoke said the BBC had "arrogantly assumed" the authors had not trademarked the name of their novel and "that we would for some reason be grateful at this plagiarism disguised as a nod".

In an interview, Adegoke said the poster seemed intentionally designed "to piggyback off our tiny brand's movement".

"To legitimatise the usage of that slogan they intentionally used a black British woman to front it," she said.

The incident was ironic given "our whole book is about stuff like this", she added.

Adegoke contacted a person who worked for the BBC's in-house advertising branch, BBC Creative, on Thursday and was informed the issue would be dealt with, she said.

But she said had not received a formal response by Tuesday morning.

"We were getting really annoyed because we felt like our hands were tied," Adegoke said.

She finally decided to tweet publicly about the advert on Tuesday, but added: "I hate public spectacles, they make me anxious".

The BBC said in a statement it sought legal advice before rolling out the billboards and was advised "the use of the headline was sufficiently far removed from the goods and services covered by the trademark registration in place".

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