1. ITV Report

Victoria Beckham launches legal action against North Tyneside takeaway

Victoria Beckham takes legal action against North Tyneside takeaway Credit: PA

Victoria Beckham is launching legal action against a takeaway in North Tyneside.

It follows an advert by Sidhu Golden Fish and Chips in Battle Hill, which declares its pizza crusts are thinner than her. The slogan, which is on the back of their pizza delivery van, is emblazoned with a caricature of the former Spice Girl wearing a sash which reads "Anorexic Fashion Icon". It then states: "Our new Victoria Beckham thin crust only 2mm thin."

A spokesperson for the fashion designer has branded the slogan "thoughtless" and "inappropriate":

"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."

– Victoria Beckham's spokesperson

However, manager Soni Sidhu said that he never meant to offend anyone with the advert - and that his customers see it in context:

"As the manager and 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.

"We would like our customers and all people in general to take our advertising in context.

"We are not a fly by night business trying to make a quick buck.

"Anorexia and any mental illness are very serious."

– Soni Sidhu

The takeaway came under fire after an anorexia charity claimed that the shocking advertising scheme "puts people at genuine risk" of eating disorders. Marg Oaten, who has an MBE for services to eating disorders, said earlier:

"Twenty per cent of people who suffer from an eating disorder die each year.

"To trivialise anorexia in a pizza advert is appalling.

"There has been a lot of good work done around mental health recently, especially by the royals, in reducing the stigma attached to eating disorders.

"This is a step in the wrong direction. The people responsible for this should hang their heads in shame.

"The advert puts people at genuine risk. Those who suffer from eating disorders are constantly battling with their feelings and thoughts.

"They will see the advert and start comparing themselves to the size of Victoria Beckham.

"These people need to be brought to account. There should be legislation banning this kind of thing."

– Marg Oaten MBE

Mr Sidhu, 32, said that the company were "horrified and hurt" by comments made by Marg Oaten MBE, of Seed anorexia charity.

However, he said that his customers were sensible enough to realise that the advert was not meant to offend:

"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.

"From all the comments on newspaper websites and our Facebook page we have received nothing but support.

"It is reassuring the general public are sensible enough to differentiate between make-believe and real life.

"It is offered as a fun way to make people smile, and to escape from the daily hustle and bustle of life. We would be genuinely horrified if anyone was genuinely offended.

"If, in 2017 Britain, we are asked to take down this advert it will be a sad day for freedom of expression."

– Soni Sidhu