Decision to withdraw Heinz advert angers gay rights group

A gay rights group is boycotting Heinz after the company withdrew an advert for mayonnaise showing two men kissing.

Heinz said it withdrew the television commercial for its Deli Mayo following “consumer feedback”.

The ad was launched just over a week ago and had been due to run for five weeks.

However, viewers objected to the scene of the men kissing, complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority that it was “offensive”, “inappropriate” and “unsuitable to be seen by children”.

The ASA said it had received 202 complaints. A spokeswoman said the authority had not yet decided if it would investigate.

Gay rights group Stonewall today urged gay consumers to stop buying Heinz products.

Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, said: “We’re shocked that an innocuous ad should have been withdrawn in this way. I can’t imagine that Heinz would respond to protests about black people featuring in their adverts.

“Our phones have not stopped ringing with supporters who are deeply upset.”

The ad is set in a family kitchen with two children picking up their sandwiches from “Mum” before heading off to school.

The “Mum” turns out to be a New York deli worker dressed in a white apron.

When the father of the house gets his sandwich he bids goodbye with the words: “See you tonight, love.”

The man then asks: “Hey, ain’t you forgetting something?” before the father then gives him a peck on the lips and leaves the house with the man calling after him: “Love you. Come straight home from work, sweet cheeks.”

Nigel Dickie, a spokesman for Heinz UK, said the ad was intended as “a humorous take on a slice of life”.

He said: “It is our policy to listen to consumers. We recognise that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it.

“The advertisement, part of a short-run campaign, was intended to be humorous and we apologise to anyone who felt offended.”

More in this Section

UK interest rate cut less likely after strong employment figures, say expertsUK interest rate cut less likely after strong employment figures, say experts

Starbucks boss urges coffee drinkers to avoid milk to meet carbon goalsStarbucks boss urges coffee drinkers to avoid milk to meet carbon goals

Knowing more about where our taxes go would help balance the arguments around future hikesKnowing more about where our taxes go would help balance the arguments around future hikes

EasyJet shares rise 4.5% on winter season sales boostEasyJet shares rise 4.5% on winter season sales boost


Lifestyle

Hannah Stephenson has advice on how to care for your garden when wet weather strikesHow to prevent and deal with waterlogging in the garden

The Winter Show, which gets underway in New York this Friday, is a celebration of world cultures, from antiquity to the present.Time travellers are packing their suitcases for New York this week

'We’re far more comfortable talking to our kids about death than we are about sex'Learner Dad: 'The five-year-old can’t wait for our cat to die'

Ireland’s Ancient East provided a range of attractions which sated the appetites of both young and old.One-size-fits-all holiday package to Ireland's Ancient East

More From The Irish Examiner