A London Underground advert which has been criticised for asking if tube users are "beach body ready", is to be removed as the company's director claims to have received a bomb threat.

Protein World's "beach body ready" campaign has been heavily criticised for being sexist and for using the bikini-clad model to make to make individuals feel "physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model".

Many people have taken to vandalising the tube adverts, with further condemnation being spread using the hashtag #everybodysready on Twitter.

An online petition demanding the adverts be pulled has attracted more than 50,000 signatures, with a "taking back the beach" protest organised in in London's Hyde Park on 2 May, expected to be attended by hundreds of people.

More than 200 people have also complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the adverts are "offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image".

Transport for London (TfL) have now confirmed the posters are soon to be taken down, but not because of the controversy they have caused. A TfL spokesperson said the three-week poster campaign is "coming to a natural end", adding the campaign did not break TFL's advertising standards.

The decision arrived as Richard Staveley, head of global marketing for Protein World, said his company has received "violent and physical threats" because of the adverts.

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "We've had a bomb threat. That's been reported to the police and is currently being investigated but I can't say any more than that."

Elsewhere, Arjun Seth, chief executive of Protein World, told the Evening Standard those defacing the posters are "terrorists".

He added: "There are a select few irrational extremists who have taken it upon themselves to engage in criminal activity and vandalise our posters.

"Furthermore, one particularly unhinged individual terrorised the entire workforce by threatening violent action on our head office.

"We have absolutely no qualms in identifying these fools for exactly what they are. I hope the NSA find these terrorists and take them to Guantanamo Bay."