Yes we can? Heinz TV spot pulled by advertising authority over health and safety fears

The company's new campaign, which invites consumers to use tins to sing a song, has been pulled from TV broadcasts

Yes we can? Heinz TV spot pulled by advertising authority over health and safety fears

[Kraft Heinz]

While Heinz and its tinned beans have a long history of advertising success, with the classic slogan ‘Beanz meanz Heinz’ voted the best tagline in the history of marketing, the company’s attempts to launch a new viral campaign have been undone by health and safety legislation.

The company’s recent advertising drive, pulled straight out of the Pitch Perfect playbook, encouraged young consumers to take their tins of Heinz beans and turn the receptacle into a drum, with the tagline #LearnTheCanSong.

But the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that the campaign is in violation of health and safety standards, as would-be percussionists are at risk of mistakenly cutting their hands or fingers. The ruling also expressed concerns that home viewers would not prove as proficient as the actors employed in the TV advert, which shows people manipulating tins of Heinz Baked Beanz that can weigh as much as 415g.

The ASA responded to three complaints filed by viewers of the Kraft Heinz TV spot who expressed concerns that it promoted an unsafe practice, while a further six complaints contested that learning to perform the can song could be a dangerous activity for children to emulate.

According to the ASA’s report, the advert, as it is currently edited, cannot be broadcast on TV again.

“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,” the ASA ruling said.

“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 tins being used to play music.”

Defending its campaign, Kraft Heinz said it had created online tutorials that it shared on social media that showed consumers how to safely prepare tins to be used in the can song, including cleaning out the contents and taping off the sharp edges.

A spokesperson said that the safety of consumers was the number one priority of the food giant, but said that it would not be running the advert on television again.

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