Heinz pulls male kiss ad after hundreds of complaints

LONDON - Heinz has pulled a television ad for its Deli Mayo that features two men kissing following a huge number of complaints. The company said the decision to pull the ad was because it was listening to consumers.

The Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO-created ad had been due to run for another four weeks but Heinz stopped airing the ad on Friday.

It has provoked 179 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, which has not yet decided whether it will investigate them. However, the watchdog is thought to have received many more that have not been counted due to a technical fault.

The ad shows a family in their kitchen with the twist that the mother making the sandwiches is replaced by a New York deli chef to get across the authentic nature of the product. The chef and the father kiss each other on the cheek as the father leaves for work as if the chef were his wife.

Heinz said it withdrew the ad in response to consumer feedback and issued an apology "to anyone who felt offended".

The people who complained said the ad was "offensive" and "inappropriate", and some were angry that they had to explain to their children why two men were kissing.

Nigel Dickie, director of corporate affairs for Heinz UK, said: "It is our policy to listen to consumers. We recognize that some consumers raised concerns over the content of the ad and this prompted our decision to withdraw it.

"The advertisement, part of a short-run campaign, was intended to be humorous and we apologize to anyone who felt offended."

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