Carlsberg is asking “Are you beer body ready?” in a cheeky response to ads on London Underground that have caused huge controversy.

The original Protein World ads featuring a model posing in a bikini and asking "Are you beach body ready?" have drawn heavy criticism for making people “feel physically inferior”.

Many of the posters have been vandalised by travellers unhappy about the message being promoted, and a petition calling for the ads’ removal has collected tens of thousands of signatures.

No amateur when it comes to humorous marketing, having recently set up a billboard in London that gave out free beer, Carlsberg has now weighed into the row with a fun-poking riposte that qualifies as probably the best ad placement in the world.

The company’s take on the Protein World poster features a beer bottle dressed in nothing but bikini bottoms and the alternative question ‘Are you beer body ready?’

Better still, Carlsberg’s ad has appeared alongside Protein World’s at Tube stations.

Twitter users have unsurprisingly reacted positively to Carlsberg’s strategy.

Meanwhile, the ads which caused all the controversy in the first place are set to disappear soon.

The advertising watchdog has launched a formal investigation into the ‘beach body ready’ campaign and banned it from appearing again in its current form.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said: "We've met with Protein World to discuss its ‘Are you beach body ready?’ ad campaign.

"It's coming down in the next three days and, due to our concerns about a range of health and weight loss claims made in the ad, it can't appear again in its current form.”

The ASA said it had received 360 complaints about the campaign.