A TV advert for Heinz beans featuring people drumming on baked beans tins to create a “Can Song” has been banned by the UK advertising regulator which ruled people could hurt themselves if they attempted to copy it.
Consumers attempting the “Can Song,” as the ad encouraged them to do, they risked cutting their hands because the ad lacked sufficient instructions on how to beat the packaging cans safely without catching their fingers on jagged edges, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said in its assessment.
“We considered that consumers encouraged to learn the Can Song were unlikely to be as proficient as the actors,” the ruling said.
The advertising watchdog received nine complaints about the ad, six of which mentioned its danger to children should they copy the song. The ASA concluded that the ad breached both the “harm and offence” advertising code and a second code relating to its danger to children.
Heinz responded that it included online tutorial videos with instructions on preparing a can for users wanting to perform the “Can Song.” The instructions: “eat it, clean it, and (just to be safe) tape it,” appear at the start of the ad on YouTube.
The ASA upheld the complaints because the TV ad itself did not include the instructions, and therefore it “condoned and encouraged behaviour that prejudiced health or safety.”
Heinz’s also said in its response that consumers had created their own video versions of the “Can Song” and uploaded them onto social media sites, which the company said was evidence that copying the ad was not prejudicial to their health or safety. This YouTuber’s attempt has already received almost 60,000 views.
Watch the ad in full here:
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