Mel B: ‘Miscommunication’ led to Tesco advert complaint

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The image showed Mel B performing at the Brit Awards in 1997

Melanie Brown has clarified that a “miscommunication” with Tesco over the use of an image of her led to her complaining to the supermarket giant.

Tesco pulled an advert for Clubcard Plus which featured her as Scary Spice after she voiced objections on Monday.

The ad read: “Stop right now. You get 10% off two big shops a month for £7.99,” a play on the hit single Stop.

“I did this campaign for Women’s Aid to raise awareness and to raise funds,” Brown wrote in a new Instagram post.

“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.”

It’s understood Brown had expected the charity, which supports women and children who have experienced domestic violence, to feature more prominently in the advertising campaign.

In a comment on the original post, Brown’s mother said the advert “should have had the Women’s Aid charity on it”.

But she said she could “hardly see the writing at the bottom” where it featured on the finished product.

Brown said: “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.

“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.”

Brown originally used her Instagram account to ask Tesco’s CEO to contact her “urgently”. Tesco said the image was cleared for use but pulled it as Brown was “unhappy”.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Here at Tesco we are really big fans of Mel B and were excited to feature her photo in our campaign.

“We had authorisation to use this image, but we’re sorry Mel B is unhappy so we’ve stopped using it.”

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Getty Images

Image caption

Mel B pictured wearing leopard print earlier this year

The image was purchased by Tesco through Getty Images and a contract was signed with Getty and Brown’s agent.

The advert was part of Tesco’s latest campaign, featuring cultural references from the past century for its 100th anniversary with the tagline: “Prices that take you back.”

The photo of Brown in a leopard print catsuit was taken at the Brit Awards in 1997, during the Spice Girls’ heyday.

Other celebrities, including Morecambe and Wise, have also been used in the campaign.

The comedy duo replaced Mel B on Tesco’s Twitter banner on Monday evening.

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