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Heinz advert banned for second time after comparing can of baked beans to protein shake

The advert has been forbidden for being in breach of advertising code

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 26 July 2018 11:14
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Heinz protein beans advert

A Heinz advert depicting a couple comparing the nutritional content of a can of baked beans with a protein shake has been banned for the second time for breaching advertising code.

The advert shows a man entering his kitchen after exercise, taking a protein shake out of the fridge and telling his family about his newfound love of protein.

After describing the protein shake as being “supercharged with high fibre and minimal fat,” his partner then takes a bowl of baked beans out of the microwave, with the caption on the screen outlining the high protein and fibre and low fat content of the Heinz product.

The original version of the advert was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority last year for also comparing the baked beans to a protein shake, before a slightly amended version was broadcast in February.

However, the organisation has come to the conclusion that the updated version of the advert is still in violation of the advertising code for making an unfound nutritional claim.

“We considered that in the context of the man’s statements, the woman’s statement ‘Right. We’re just having some beans’ would be interpreted by viewers to mean that the beans had as much protein, fibre and fat as the protein shake that had just been displayed, particularly as directly afterwards, the text ‘High in protein. High in fibre. Low in fat’ appeared next to the bowl of beans,” the ASA states.

As consumers may interpret the advert as implying that consuming baked beans can be just as nutritious as a protein shake, the ASA therefore concluded that the advert “must not appear again in its current form.”

A Heinz spokesperson has explained in a statement provided to The Independent that the intention of the advert was to explain the nutritional value of baked beans in a light-hearted way.

“Our popular TV ad, ‘Good without going on about it’, simply aimed to be a memory jogger about the goodness of beans in a humorous way which we believed fully met advertising requirements,” the spokesperson says.

“Following the ASA ruling last year the ad was amended and once against Clearcast, the organisation 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.”

MissFits Nutrition, a protein brand geared towards women, has stated that it agrees with the decision made by the ASA, as the nutritional value of a can of baked beans shouldn't be equated to that of a protein shake.

"Heinz fails to fully represent its product accurately in the advert," a MissFits spokesperson tells The Independent.

"Each tin contains 22g sugar. Compare this to a single serving of MissFits protein powder which delivers 0g sugar! Given sugar links to obesity and diabetes, this is a major omission from Heinz.

"It shows the importance of looking at the back of a pack when picking up a product, and seeing true nutritional value."

Form Nutrition, a protein company that specialises in plant-based protein, adds that the advert doesn't take into account the other elements included in many protein shakes, saying: "When comparing nutritional values, there's a lot more to consider than just protein, fibre and fat as the Heinz ad does.

"For example, it doesn't mention sugar content. Canned beans often contain a lot of sugar.

"Some of our proteins also contain added fibre and probiotics to support gut health."

In 2016, another Heinz advert was prohibited over fears that it could be putting the health and safety of children at risk.

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