Alas:Heinz pulls ad showing men kissinghttp://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/jun/24/asa.advertising
Heinz has withdrawn its Deli Mayo TV ad that featured two men sharing a kiss and apologised to viewers after the advertising regulator received about 200 complaints that it was offensive and inappropriate.
The Heinz Deli Mayo ad has been pulled after less than a week on air after viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that it was "offensive" and "inappropriate to see two men kissing".
Other complaints include that the ad was "unsuitable to be seen by children" and that it raised the difficult problem of parents having to discuss the issue of same-sex relationships with younger viewers.
"It is our policy to listen to consumers. We recognise that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it," said Nigel Dickie, director of corporate affairs for Heinz UK.
Dickie added that the campaign for the new Heinz Deli Mayo product, which was due to run for five weeks, was meant to be humorous and that the company apologised to anyone who felt offended.
The TV ad is the first by Heinz's new ad agency AMV BBDO since it won the £10m-a-year UK business last year.
AMV BBDO said that the concept behind the campaign is that the product tastes so good, "It's as if you have your own New York deli man in your kitchen."
Heinz's ad opens with a family on a normal morning routine with a young boy and girl getting ready for school and their father preparing for the office.
The young boy and girl go to the kitchen to get their sandwiches, which are being prepared by a man with a New York accent, dressed in a deli serving outfit, who they refer to as "mum".
When their father goes to get his sandwich he says to mum in the kitchen: "See you tonight love."
However, mum barks back "Hey, ain't you forgetting something?", at which point the two men share a kiss. Mum then sends the father off with the words: "Love you. Straight home from work, sweet cheeks."
The Heinz TV ad carried an "ex-kids" restriction, meaning it cannot be shown in or around children's programming, because Heinz Deli Mayo falls foul of Ofcom's TV ad restrictions relating to products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.
The ASA has not yet decided whether to investigate the complaints about the Heinz ad.
Heinz said it made the decision to stop airing the ad on Friday.