Victoria Beckham has blasted a North East chip shop, after their advertising campaign included a cartoon image of the star wearing an ‘Anorexic Fashion Icon’ sash.
Sidhu Golden Fish and Chips in Wallsend used the star’s image on their delivery van, to promote their 2mm ‘Victoria Beckham thin crust’ pizza.
The advert included the image of an emaciated-looking figure, with the message “this is not thin” written next to it, comparing it to their new pizza.
A spokesperson for Victoria Beckham has now confirmed that they will be taking action against the restaurant in question, saying (via The Sun): “It is highly inappropriate to trivialise such a disorder, and defamatory to be so thoughtless with a person’s reputation in this way, sadly this is now a legal matter.”
An employee at the restaurant has since told the Press Association that the advert in question is to be taken down, explaining: “No official complaint has been made, but the owners have decided to take the offending poster down.
“We don’t want to cause any aggravation, it wasn’t supposed to be like that, we are a small business of close staff that live locally, we’re not about causing aggro.
“We’re about having a laugh and making people smile and we don’t want things to get out of hand and offend anybody – if somebody doesn’t smile then all the fun is out of it.”
In the wake of the controvesy, the restaurant’s manager, Soni Sidhu, posted a message on Facebook, writing: “As the manager, on the behalf of all our staff and owners, [I] would like to state we recognise how serious eating disorders are and would never make light the seriousness of people with eating disorders.
“Anorexia and any mental illness are very serious. I personally have suffered from depression. It was through the advice of my GP and help from my family who taught me and helped me to live life with a smile I beat it! This mindset continues through our work... we like to have a smile and joke.
“We have always stated even if one individual is upset or offended by our advert we would be more than happy to take it down.”
He later shared an image showing that the image had indeed been removed, insisting he hadn’t had any “official complaint” from Victoria Beckham.
“We know this isn’t what our customers would want,” he said, “But we as a business have never been about causing anguish for anyone. We would like to apologise to anyone who was hurt by what was printed. That would be the last thing we would have wanted.
“Please could we request no media originations contact us for responses. We have had threatening calls and rude emails made to individuals, who come to work so then can better their lives.”
The advert had previously been condemned by a spokesperson for the eating disorders charity Beat, who said: “At Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, we work for a society where those with eating disorders are free of stigma and misunderstanding. We still have a way to go, but recently mental health has taken a step forward with lots of good work achieved by charities and media outlets.
“This advertisement is completely inappropriate; it trivialises the struggles people with eating disorder face and compromises the steps that have been taken to increase understanding of eating disorders.”
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