ASA cans Heinz baked beans ad over protein shake comparison

The ASA has canned the ad following complaints from viewers

Heinz has fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an ad that compared the nutritional value of its baked beans to that of a protein shake.

The BBH-created spot, which was part of the brand's 'Good For You Without Going On About It' campaign, has been canned for making nutrional claims that failed to comply with the rules.

The TV ad depicted a man arriving home to his family for dinner. When asked by his wife if he was hungry he said "I am darling, but diet is key," before drinking a shake. He continued: "I’m on a new regime, Dean calls the ‘three P’s’ – this is the last P: protein, which I've supercharged with high fibre and minimal fat.”

His wife was then shown removing some Heinz beans from the microwave, responding: “Same. We’re just having some beans.” On-screen text next to the bowl read: 'High in protein. High in Fibre. Low in Fat'

Just three viewers complained about the spot, but the ASA held firm, saying that the context of the film and on-screen text meant viewers were likely to infer that the beans had as much protein, fibre and fat as the protein shake that had just been displayed.

Heinz argued that while the ad made nutritional claims about the product’s high protein and fibre and low fat content, it did not specify whether the food had greater or lesser nutritional benefits than the liquid.

Nonetheless, the ASA said the ad musn't be shown again in its current form. Heinz has said it will amend the ad so it can run it on TV again early next year.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the brand said: "Heinz Beanz are naturally high in protein and fibre as well as being low in fat and sugar. That is not in question.

"Our popular ad, ‘Good Without Going On About It’, simply aimed to be a memory jogger about the goodness of beans in a humorous way, which we believed fully met advertising requirements."

This isn't the first time Heinz has landed in hot water with the regulator. Last year its 'Bean Can Song' was banned for posing a danger to children.

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