Heinz has pulled it’s an advertisement for Deli Mayo after it received complaints for showing two men kissing. The advert is online here.
The advert shows:
Heinz’s ad opens with a family on a normal morning routine with a young boy and girl getting ready for school and their father preparing for the office.
The young boy and girl go to the kitchen to get their sandwiches, which are being prepared by a man with a New York accent, dressed in a deli serving outfit, who they refer to as “mum”.
When their father goes to get his sandwich he says to mum in the kitchen: “See you tonight love.”
However, mum barks back “Hey, ain’t you forgetting something?”, at which point the two men share a kiss. Mum then sends the father off with the words: “Love you. Straight home from work, sweet cheeks.”
The concept behind the campaign is that the product tastes so good, “It’s as if you have your own New York deli man in your kitchen.”
The Daily Mail of course chose to tell a rather more biased version of the story.
I thought the days of two men kissing being “offensive” had gone. Obviously not. And Heinz have bowed to pressure from a homophobic minority and pulled an advert which is an amusing play on the New York Deli stereotype. The ‘peck’ clearly has no gay context, yet Heinz have agreed with those who seem to think it has because they ‘listen to their customer’.
Why don’t Heinz listen to their gay customers who find their decision offensive. I’m sure there will be numerous blog entries on this. Left In Britain‘s is particularly good. This one and this one on the other hand seem to be rather blinkered to what the advert is about, or, more appropriately, is not about.
Ben Summerskill of Stonewall has called for a boycott of Heinz products and I’m certainly inclined to agree with him. He says:
Any nod at all to the very existence of homosexuality might be enough to have Mary Whitehouse twitching in her celestial bathchair, but the Heinz peck broadcast last week had not even been shown in front of the children the ad is claimed to have upset. (The Deli Mayo it promotes is so unhealthy that Heinz is not allowed to advertise it during children’s programmes.)
…the decision to withdraw the ad …seems to have been made under the quaint impression that it will cause no offence to Britain’s 3.6 million lesbian and gay consumers. Or any of their friends. Or families. Or colleagues.
Above all, Heinz’s prim retraction seems to have been made without any thought for the damage that might be done to its business. Popping into my usual Costcutter on the way home this evening, I look forward to missing out on my regular Heinz purchases, as many thousands of Stonewall supporters hope you will too.
Branston baked beans. Baxters soups. Buitoni spaghetti. Jardines tomato ketchup. Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Yum yum! They’re all delicious. How sad that for Heinz in 2008, beanz meanz bigotz.