The estate of the late Bob Carlos Clarke is taking legal action against Pepsi which is accused of ripping off a picture by the award-winning photographer in an advert featured on posters and in the press.

The controversy centres on a photograph called ?The Lick/Mouth?.

Ghislain Pascal, manager of the photographer?s estate, said: ?It?s quite clear for anyone to see that they?ve just completely copied Bob?s photo.?

He added: ?We want adequate financial compensation for infringing his copyright and we?re prepared to fight this all the way.?

A Pepsi UK spokesperson told Amateur Photographer this morning: ?We are currently investigating the matter and until that is completed it would be inappropriate to comment.?

Pascal stressed that Bob?s photograph is not, as some may feel, a blown-up part of an image that could have been taken from numerous other portraits.

?The photo in question in not a cropped photograph. This is the full image,? he said.

Pascal has already gained the support of several high profile industry figures in the battle against Pepsi.

Photographer John Stoddart told him that ?there is no doubt? in his opinion that Bob?s picture had been copied.

Philippe Garner, international head of photography at Christie?s, said: ?While eroticised mouths are a universal subject, the treatment in this instance is so very close to Bob?s picture ? a picture surely familiar to every art director in the business ? as to leave one wondering whether it was the source for the poster image.?

Bob Carlos Clarke died when he was struck by a train at a level-crossing in Barnes, London on 25 March last year.

It later emerged that he had taken his own life and had been suffering from clinical depression.

Pepsi told us that its advertising campaign featuring the controversial photograph ended in September.

Below: Bob Carlos Clarke’s photograph, which is at the centre of a copyright row (picture courtesy of the Estate of Bob Carlos Clarke)

Bob Carlos Clarke's photograph, which is at the centre of a copyright rowPicture of a poster featuring the Pepsi advert

The controversial Pepsi advert featured on posters and in print