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Mel B says “miscommunication” led to complaint over Tesco ad

By | Published on Wednesday 13 November 2019

Mel B

Mel B has resolved an issue over the use of her image in a Tesco advertising campaign. She says that there never was a problem with the picture being used, but that she had approved it on the understanding that the advert in which it appeared would prominently promote the charity Women’s Aid.

The advert in question features a photo of the Spice Girl performing at the BRIT Awards in 1997. It’s part of a campaign marking Tesco’s centenary that uses various bits of pop culture nostalgia. On it, a speech bubble coming from Mel B says: “Stop right now. You get 10% off two big shops a month for £7.99”. Another remark from an unseen speaker replies: “Thank you very much”. It’s a reference to 1997 Spice Girls hit ‘Stop’, you see?

Earlier this week, the singer posted a photo of the advert onto Instagram, adding the caption: “Can the CEO OF @tescofood DAVE LEWIS PLEASE CONTACT ME URGENTLY. Thank you”. Apparently that’s how this sort of thing is done these days.

Tesco pulled the advert online, saying that it had “authorisation to use this image” but added that “Mel B is unhappy so we’ve stopped using it”.

However, she has said that the company’s right to use the image was never in question. Rather a promised mention for Women’s Aid was relegated to the small print at the bottom of the poster, which was less than she was expecting. Although she then blamed this error on a “miscommunication”.

In a new Instagram post, she writes: “There was NEVER any issue about me being unhappy with my image being used and there was NEVER any issue about Tesco being given permission to use the image. I did this campaign for Women’s Aid to raise awareness and to raise funds. There was a miscommunication between some of the parties dealing with it but luckily Tesco has been amazing”.

“Women’s Aid sadly lost funding a few weeks ago which was why I decided to do this campaign”, she goes on. “I’m really pleased that Tesco understands how important Women’s Aid is to me, and has agreed to match my fee in donation to the charity. This money is a game-changer for them. It will keep their live chat line running for the next six months and all over Christmas. This service literally saves lives. One in four women are affected by domestic violence. I am never going to stop trying to help. Thank you, Tesco”.

Following Mel B’s original complaint, her image was replaced on Tesco’s Twitter profile with one featuring comedy duo Morecambe & Wise. They remain there still. Just in case you were wondering.