They’re a kitchen staple and hardly anything to be frightened of, but apparently Heinz Beans’ most recent advert is just too dangerous for viewers.
I don’t know where we’d be without them and can’t imagine a life without them, but the BBC has reported that their advert has had to be banned due to ‘health and safety’ reasons.
However their latest campaign featuring people playing ‘the can song,’ in different, everyday scenarios, has gone too far and is a massive no-no according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The advert which was shown on TV, online and cinema screens showed children and adults beating out rhythms on the can and being encouraged to do so with the #Learn the CanSong.
According to the ASA the ad could potentially lead to a person cutting themselves. Heinz however, have denied their advert is promoting dangerous activity.
Allegedly, nine people complained about the advert, claiming it encourages ‘unsafe practice’ and could be ‘dangerous’ for children – I bet Heinz were quaking in their boots. The ASA took this on board and questioned the competency of the real-life ‘players’ copying the game and acknowledged that ‘mistakes could be made,’ resulting in serious harm.
For the reasons given and because the ad did not include information on how to ensure consumer safety when recreating the song, we concluded that the ad condoned and encouraged behaviour that prejudiced health or safety.
We told Heinz 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.
The ASA came down brutally hard on the much-loved bean company and banned them completely from broadcasting the advert again – in its current form at least. The chairman for The Health and Safety Executive, Martin Temple, seemed to disagree with the ASA though.
It does look like the term health and safety has been used incorrectly here.
Obviously if a child is playing with a jagged edge on a tin container there is a risk of injury, but we would hope parents manage that risk.
Heinz did try to put up a fight though despite the harsh ruling, explaining that their video tutorials show tape around the cans just in case, but they did admit defeat in regards to the advert’s broadcast.
We believe this popular ad did not pose any safety risk and many fans were inspired to create their own video versions. Of course safety is our number one priority and our online tutorials also included taping the can end as an extra precaution.
Although we acknowledge the ASA decision, the TV campaign is over and we have no plans to run it again.
So there you have it, sadly the Heinz beans ad has had to hit the can (sorry).