That annoying Heinz baked beans ad has been banned

Caitlin Morrison
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Heinz probably isn't so full of beans after the ASA banned its ads

An advert for Heinz baked beans has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ad, which features children, teenagers and adults using empty or full tins of baked beans to drum out the rhythm of the 'Can Song' drew complaints - not because of the annoying tune, but due to safety concerns.

Complainants said the advert could encourage unsafe practice, and others said the advert featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate - because if the bean cans were open, drumming on them could lead to injuries.

And the ASA has upheld those complaints. The watchdog said it noted that the actors who played out the Can Song were featured in various situations, and some of the scenes appeared to include both opened, as Heinz said was advised, and closed cans of baked beans.

"We acknowledged Heinz’s assertion that the cans in the ad were tapped only on sealed tops, bottom or sides," the ASA said.

"However, we considered that was not always clear, particularly given the speed at which the Can Song was played."

The watchdog added: "We noted that to play the Can Song, the tin was tapped on its bottom, top and sides which involved flipping and twirling the can round, and that all actors in the ad appeared to be proficient in performing the routine.

"We considered that consumers encouraged to learn the Can Song were unlikely to be as proficient as the actors, but that in any case, particularly given the manoeuvres required, it might still be possible that mistakes could be made with an empty can, which might include a hand or fingers being inserted into an open tin (with the associated risk of cuts)."

The ASA said the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form, and told Heinz Foods to "ensure that future ads did not condone or encourage behaviour that prejudiced health and safety, including behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate, for example by featuring open tin cans being used to play music".

Heinz has been approached for comment.

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