Good old health and safety, stepping in to protect the nation from the risk of serious harm and injury playing tunes on empty baked bean tins.
The news that the ASA has banned the latest Heinz Beans TV advert has drawn wide press coverage, interest and discussion, much more so than if it had done nothing. So what does that mean for Heinz?
Job done in short, but more by accident I think. It is laughable to those of us born pre 1980 that we have made it this far in life without the intervention of most obvious health and safety rules in our childhoods. It also reminds us that a staple food of those carefree childhoods is still going strong. No doubt that association and nostalgia for the brand will ensure more tins of beans make it into consumer's shopping baskets this week.
There was a time early in my PR career when ad campaigns were designed to be deliberately banned, in the hope of then securing press interest. Many brand teams secretly hoped that their product's status would be elevated by the kudos of being branded naughty by the ASA. So should any others follow a similar fate? A tongue in cheek look....
The Advertising Standards Authority has banned the new Heinz Beanz advert – in which a succession of people tap out an Ed Sheeran-ish tune on empty cans – on the basis that children might mimic the commercial and cut off their fingers on a jagged scrap of metal. However, it is by no means the only “dangerous” ad. Here are some well-known ads that would no longer make it past health and safety.