Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Heinz Advert with Male Kiss Is Pulled in England

Here is the commercial:

What's so wrong with that?

Apparently, more than 200 people complained that it was offensive to see men kiss. Here is what Heinz said in response to the issue:

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

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

World Nut Daily, and apparently Bill O'Reilly, felt a need to weight in on it:

Guests on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Channel program laughed, saying the company was just "having fun with some gender blending" and warning not to read any agenda into the ad.

O'Reilly disagreed, insisting, "It was obviously a gay thing."

The guests agreed, however, that a commercial like this was unlikely to appear in the U.S., where people would definitely perceive a homosexual implication.


This is the 21st century for crying out loud. There is nothing wrong with a gay kiss. But I guess the Brits are just as homophobic as Americans. Too bad. I wonder if there would be as much noise if it had been two women kissing?

The real issue is that these people don't understand metaphor. This kind of ignorance is more alarming than homophobia in some ways. As long as people are ignorant in such simple ways, there's little chance that they'll get bigger issues any time soon.

The image of the New York deli guy in the kitchen is to suggest that using this mayonnaise is equivalent to having a deli guy for a mom. Meaning = moms should use this stuff so that their families will feel like they are eating deli food. Is that so tough to get?

In support of my view:
AMV BBDO, the advertising agency which made the ad, said that the idea was that the product "tastes as if you have your own New York deli man in your kitchen".

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