Heinz on Friday decided to withdraw this ad, after about 200 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. Of course considering this was a man acting the character of a woman, it begs the question as to why there were so many complaints about the kiss. More important however is why Heinz decided to pull it at all.
The Heinz Deli Mayo was 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.
Sorry but that’s just not good enough. What on earth was offensive? What was inappropriate? Did people just not get the ad? And why is it their policy just to listen to the goddamn stupid consumers? What about the rest of us?
Heinz’s decision to withdraw the ad might be seen by them as an easy way to palm off 200 fundamentalist Christian complainants, (but) it seems to have been made under the quaint impression that it will cause no offence to Britain’s 3.6 million lesbian and gay consumers. Or any of their friends. Or families. Or colleagues.
And don’t forget that the product itself is so unhealthy that it wasn’t even allowed to be advertised around children’s programming, which should surely have invalidated a whole swathe of the ‘complaints’. But Heinz thought it was just plain easier to offend their gay consumers instead. Summerskill is advocating a boycott of Heinz in retaliation (and I agree).
If you want to complain directly to the company however, their customer careline is 0800 528 5757.