I shouldn’t be surprised, but I can’t help myself.
Heinz has been forced to pull its TV advert for the Deli Mayo range after the Advertising Standards Authority received 200 complaints from viewers in less than a week.
The “offensive and inappropriate advert” was also deemed to be “unsuitable to be seen by children”.
The main gripe appears to be the fact that two men are shown kissing and this raises issues for parents who then have to discuss same-sex relationships with their children.
Judge for yourselves how offensive and inappropriate this advert is:
I can’t help but agree with Nigel Dickie, director of corporate affairs for Heinz UK, when he explained the campaign was meant to be humorous.
He went on to add the usual corporate apology to “anyone offended” by the advert, which had been due to run for five weeks.
I guess we have forgotten how to laugh these days.
And perhaps we are expecting too much of parents to explain the facts of modern life to their own children. Far better to leave it up to others.
[Edit: I was slightly mistaken. Heinz wasn’t forced to pull the advert, it made the choice itself. This puts a different slant on it – namely, why buckle so easily? Needless to say the backlash has started with online petitions, a Facebook group and calls for a Heinz boycott.]
UPDATE 3-7-08: The ASA says it has no plans to launch a formal investigation into the advert, despite the 200+ complaints. Still happy with your decision Heinz?