BBC Sport Accused Of Copyright Infringement Over 'Slay In Your Lane' Ad Slogan

BBC Sport Accused Of Copyright Infringement Over 'Slay In Your Lane' Ad Slogan

May 29, 2019

BBC Sport has come under accusations of copyright infringement after the author of 2018 bestselling book Slay In Your Lane tweeted that the title had been wrongfully used in the company's new #ChangeTheGame campaign. The poster in question even featured an image of black British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, with black women being the core audience of the original book suggesting the move was not a mistake.

Yomi Adegoke co-wrote the book with Elizabeth Uviebinené as an "inspirational guide to life for a generation of black British women inspired to [...] find success in every area of their lives", and was alerted to the campaign by one of their readers who asked the writers if they were involved in the campaign. The title is classed as a registered trademark in the UK, making it illegal for companies to use it in advertising or promotional services, and after reaching out to BBC Sport and one of the creative directors of the adverts, the campaign has now been pulled.

Adegoke told Huffington Post UK: "I don't think the BBC thought we'd have the brains or acumen, as two young, black women, to think to trademark that phrase to begin with. I definitely think they just assumed that we'd just stumbled across something that was catchy and smart — but we wouldn't have the sense to do something about our intellectual property, to safeguard us against this [trademark infringement]. I also think there's an idea that we're supposed to feel grateful to occupy certain spaces and be acknowledged, made visible by big organisations; even though it's the opposite — erasure. There was a misguided and nonsensical belief that we'd somehow we flattered."

Words: Aaron Bishop