Heinz baked beans advert banned for second time

An advert for Heinz baked beans has been banned for a second time after comparing the nutritional value of the product to a protein shake.

The television ad, seen in February, showed a man arriving home to his family – a woman and a girl – and being asked if he was hungry, to which he answered as he took a drink out of the fridge: “Yeah, I’m on a new regime. Dean calls the ‘three Ps’ … This is the last P: Protein, with high fibre and minimal fat.”

The woman took some baked beans from the microwave and said: “Right. We’re just having some beans,” before on-screen text stated: “High in protein. High in Fibre. Low in Fat,” and “Good for you, without going on about it.”

Heinz Foods UK said the ad made the authorised claim that a portion of Heinz Beanz was high in protein, high in fibre and low in fat, adding that it had been edited following a previous Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decision and did not make a comparative nutrition claim.

Ad clearance agency Clearcast acknowledged that the advert which had previously led to a ban by the ASA had similar content, but said it had been changed sufficiently to ensure that viewers would not think it was comparing Heinz Beanz and the drink.

Advertising regulations do not allow claims that one food has “as much” of a nutrient or nutrients as another food.

Upholding the complaint, the ASA said viewers would interpret the ad to mean that the beans had as much protein, fibre and fat as the protein shake.

It said: “We noted that the ad did not state that Heinz Beanz had greater or fewer nutritional benefits than the protein shake, however, we considered that the overall impression created by the ad was that Heinz Beanz contained as much protein, fibre and fat as a typical protein shake.

“We considered consumers would therefore interpret the ad as presenting Heinz Beanz as a tastier and more appetising, but nutritionally equivalent, alternative to consuming a protein shake.”

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

A Heinz spokesman said: “Heinz Beanz are naturally high in protein and fibre as well as being low in fat. That is not in question.

“Our popular TV ad simply aimed to be a memory jogger about the goodness of beans in a humorous way which we believed fully met advertising requirements. Following the ASA ruling last year the ad was amended and once again Clearcast, the organization that checks that TV ads meet all advertising codes on behalf of broadcasters, gave their full approval.

“Although we are disappointed with the ASA decision we have no plans to run this particular TV ad again.”

HealthWeb editor