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BBC Sport accused of plagiarism over Women’s World Cup campaign

Slay In Your Lane

BBC Sport has been accused of plagiarism for using the slogan ‘Slay In Your Lane’ in a campaign for the upcoming Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Yomi Adegoke, co-author of Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible – billed as an inspirational guide to life for a generation of black British women – claimed the broadcaster had “ripped off” the title of her book.

Last week, BBC Sport unveiled its ‘Change the Game’ campaign, created by its in-house agency, including a TV ad featuring some of the biggest names in women’s football.

Adegoke has taken issue with a supporting billboard that uses the name of her bestselling book, co-authored with Elizabeth Uviebinené – which includes an image of British runner Dina Asher-Smith in front of the slogan ‘Slay In Your Lane’.

The title is classed as a registered trademark in the UK, making its use prevented in advertising, marketing or promotional services.

A BBC spokesperson said the tagline was “sufficiently far removed from the goods and services covered by the trademark registration in place” and it is understood that the posters will be taken out of circulation from yesterday evening.

Writing on Twitter, Adegoke said: “Imagine being a white woman creating an empowering women’s ad campaign for BBC Sport and choosing to rip off the trademarked name of a book specifically aimed at uplifting black women, in an almost identical font.

“Make no mistake: this has happened because [the BBC has] a) arrogantly assumed we wouldn’t have it trademarked and b) that we would for some reason be grateful at this plagiarism disguised as a nod,” she told her near 13,000 followers.

“All I can say is black creatives, trademark your shit. I mean, it won’t actually stop white women ripping you off and big organisations stealing your shit, but at least you can drag their clarts to court!!!”

In a now-deleted tweet, one of the creative directors behind the campaign, James Cross, accused Adegoke of “bullying”. He added: “Your complaint is being looked at, going after innocent individuals on social media won’t speed it up.”

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