A Heinz beans advert showing how to play a song on the companies tin cans (in a style similar to the viral sensation “the cup song”) has been banned for health and safety reasons.
The advertisement featured young people and adults using empty or full tins to make the rhythm of a song, with the catchline “#Learn the CanSong”.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that mistakes might be made that could lead to people cutting their hands or fingers on the metallic cans.
Kraft Heinz denied that the advertising campaign posed a risk.
Three viewers complained that the TV advert could encourage unsafe practice and six believed it featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to copy.
The ASA said it was unlikely that consumers would be as proficient as the actors at flipping and twirling the cans around and therefore could injure themselves in recreating the song.
It said mistakes might be made with the can’s sharp edges, given the manoeuvres that require users to strike their hand off the opened end of the can.
“For the reasons given and because the ad did not include information on how to ensure consumer safety when recreating the song, we concluded that the ad condoned and encouraged behaviour that prejudiced health or safety,” the decision continued.
“We told Heinz to ensure that future ads did not condone or encourage behaviour that prejudiced health and safety, including behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate, for example by featuring open tin cans being used to play music.”
Heinz has been ordered to remove the ad in its current form by the ASA.
The company said its online tutorials on social media included taping the ends of an empty can as an extra precaution, and at no time did it show people placing their hands or fingers in the cans.
It said safety was its number one priority but acknowledged the decision and confirmed that it had no plans to run the campaign again.
A spokesman said: “We believe this popular ad did not pose any safety risk and many fans were inspired to create their own video versions.”