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Beanz, Meanz… Banned

Beanz, Meanz… Banned

The craze of Christmas adverts is well and truly underway and Heinz have made a timely contribution and launched a campaign of their own, the ‘#CanSong.’

The advert has been swiftly banned by the ASA who ruled that: “It might still be possible that mistakes could be made with an empty can, which might include a hand or fingers being inserted into an open tin (with the associated risk of cuts).”

Quite rightly so! We’ve all been warned of the dangers tin cans pose from the very moment we began to venture into the kitchen. It’s right up there with other important culinary lessons such as; ‘don’t lick the butter knife’, ‘don’t touch the hob’ and ‘No, you can’t eat instant coffee with a spoon’.

Ad agencies are well versed with industry rules and regulations, so, was this an advertising nightmare or a well spun PR dream? Without a Christmas tree, bauble or boxer dog in sight the advert is now being shown across major news outlets and has sparked debate causing ‘Heinz’ to trend on Twitter.

Instead of a captive TV audience, people in offices and children at the school gates will actively be searching online for the advert which is also accompanied by a handy online tutorial – cue videos of people (safely) mastering the Can Song in the comfort of their own homes!

It’s no secret that banned adverts (within reason) can increase a brand’s street cred. Another company that has had resounding success after having adverts banned is Protein World. The brand was largely unknown before their controversial posters were plastered all over the London Underground. The ASA received 378 complaints and a petition calling for the ads to be removed amassed 40,000 signatures.

The bright yellow posters caused widespread divide amongst social media users and is still hotly debated. However, contrary to causing irreparable damage the campaign caused sales to soar with CEO Arjun Seth stating that “the PR department just got their bonus”.

Whilst the industry may have largely moved away from the notion that ‘there’s no such thing as bad press’, these examples are proof that a fast acting PR team can take control and create success out of seemingly dire situations. We’re not saying we’re going to be swapping the turkey for beans on toast this Christmas, but the tinned winter warmer is definitely at the forefront of our minds.

P.S – Did anyone else see the health and safety risk the John Lewis advert posed?!

What do you think? Should the ASA have banned the cans? Let us know! @NeoPRLtd.

Koren Byrne

Account Manager.

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