ASA bans new Heinz Beanz advert on grounds of health and safety

ASA bans new Heinz Beanz advert on grounds of health and safety

Posted on Nov 30, 2016

ASA bans new Heinz Beanz advert on grounds of health and safety



Kraft Heinz have had one of their adverts showing consumers how to beat a song on an empty tin of beans can-celled for… wait for it… “health and safety reasons”.



The commercial, which used the strapline ‘Learn the #CanSong’, features children, teenagers and adults in various settings using Heinz Beanz tins to drum out the rhythm of a song whilst singing along.

The advert shows people tapping the can on its sealed top, bottom or sides – spinning and flipping the can as they go. Heinz stated that these are all "safe" surfaces and that the ad does not show anyone putting their hand or fingers inside the can.

Nine people that viewed the ad complained it encouraged ‘unsafe practice’ and six believed it featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to copy.

If you’ve not seen it already, you CAN see it here…


Everyone’s bean learning the song!

Heinz created an online tutorial for their YouTube channel and shared it on their various social media, including Facebook and Twitter, teaching their customer’s and followers how they too could learn and ‘safely perform’ the #CanSong.

The video’s instructions included ‘eat your beans’, ‘wash your can’ and ‘(just to be safe) tape up the open edge of the can’. The video (still live on their YouTube channel) has already racked up quite a hefty amount of views, and has consumers and internet celebrities alike sharing and uploading their own versions of the song.


ASA says No.

The Advertising Standards Authority put a stop to the advert and said that there was a “health and safety risk” in copying the Can Song – particularly if a child attempted it using an empty tin without adult supervision. “The ad condoned and encouraged behaviour that prejudiced health or safety,” the ASA ruled. “Because the ad was likely to condone or encourage behaviour that could be dangerous for children to emulate, we concluded it breached the [advertising] code. The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.”

The ASA said that given the speed at which the Can Song is played in the ad it was not always clear that the cans were always tapped on “safe” surfaces.

In response to the ASA, Heinz said: "We believe this popular ad did not pose any safety risk and many fans were inspired to create their own video versions. Of course safety is our number one priority and our online tutorials also included taping the can end as an extra precaution. "Although we acknowledge the ASA decision, the TV campaign is over and we have no plans to run it again." 


What did the HSE say about the ad?

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) chairman Martin Temple said: ‘While the HSE would not wish to publicly contradict this ruling, it does look like the term ‘health and safety’ has been used incorrectly here. We would hope the public realise there are absolutely no regulations preventing children from playing with empty sealed tin cans.

‘One thing kids never lack is imagination to invent their own games with the simplest of props. Obviously if a child is playing with a jagged edge on a tin container there is a risk of injury, but we would hope parents manage that risk.

‘HSE has always encouraged children to learn through play. Whether climbing trees, painting with their hands or throwing stones into a lake, we want children to enjoy life and all the experiences it brings.’


Is it all just health and safety gone mad?

Whilst we appreciate that the ASA has ultimate responsibility to keep what we view as consumers safe, it seems ‘health and safety’ has once again been used in a rather rash sense. We saw lots of other examples of this in our health and safety myths blog – click here to read more if you missed it! 


Proper training prevents… poor excuses.

If we’re sensible about health and safety and put the correct safety measures into practice, there’s no reason to stop fun or make up ridiculous rules.

Learn everything you need to know when it comes to health and safety by signing up with flick learning today! You’ll have access to over 30 courses when you register with us, as well as lots of extra resources, and downloadable guides. So what are you waiting for? Join the flick family today!


1 week, 4 days ago

How can we manage stress and mental health at work this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek? Read our new blog post to find…

1 week, 5 days ago

Would you like to better understand how children and young people are affected by mental health issues this…

1 week, 6 days ago

Do you know the connection between work-related stress and mental health? Why not take a look at our Mental Health…

Flick Learning Ltd

Fargo Studios, 54 Grafton Street, Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 2HW. Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved. Company No. 09270577