Hit or Miss: Heinz attracts wrath of media, Labour MPs and gay rights groups for pulling 'gay kiss' ad

Gay fuss - When condiment giant Heinz's new TV ad for its Deli Mayo brand debuted recently, more than 200 viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Authority. Why?

The ad featured a quick kiss between two men. Heinz immediately pulled the ad, but is now facing further scrutiny from gay rights group Stonewall and a group of Labour MPs. Pundits are filing this under 'humourless homophobia'.


HOW I SEE IT
Lawrence Dore, MD, Mantra PR

I cannot believe that the pulling of the ad was not fully anticipated by Heinz and its advertising agency. As a first campaign from Heinz's new agency AMV BBDO, the ad has already attracted global media attention, thousands of YouTube views and even a comment slot in PRWeek. This must be the desired result.

If not, there has clearly been a hole in corporate thinking - a good team should anticipate responses and not be surprised at an emotional reaction from some parts of society.

Whether Heinz chooses to listen is up to it - receiving 200 complaints isn't great, but if you are truly horrified to have offended anyone, as Heinz claims, it is enough. This is either a well-executed plan or a corporate cock-up. I bet they will never tell us which.

Verdict: HIT

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