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Tony Grew • June 30, 2008 - 15:25

A group of MPs have signed an early day motion condemning food manufacturer Heinz for withdrawing a TV advert featuring a same-sex kiss.

Meanwhile a petition demanding that the company reinstate the ad has been signed by more than 11,690 people.

So far nine MPs, all Labour, have backed the EDM by Diane Abbott.

It reads: "Millions of children watch depictions of same-sex relationships in soap operas every day … the advertisement was not intended to be a realistic depiction of a same-sex relationship … the advertisement was intended to be humorous."

The MPs said that Heinz's decision was ill-considered and likely to offend millions of gay, lesbian and transgender people and called on the company to reconsider its decision.

Last week the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg wrote to the Director of UK Corporate Affairs at Heinz expressing his disappointment at their decision and asking them to reconsider.

"The depiction of a same-sex kiss in this advert was innocent both in tone and content, and I am shocked that you decided to withdraw it," he wrote.

"The sight of two men kissing affectionately should not be considered offensive or controversial."

The Advertising Standards Authority received more than 200 complaints about the ad, which showed an innocent peck on the lips between a male New York deli chef, in the role of a 'mother' to two kids, and the children's father.

Heinz has declined to comment further on the row, having issued a press statement more than a week ago.

"It is our policy to listen to consumers," Heinz said.

"We recognise 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 apologise to anyone who felt offended."

Any people offended that Heinz removed an advert featuring a gay couple should contact them for FREE on 0800 528 57 57.

Stonewall has called on all consumers, gay and straight, to consider a boycott of Heinz products.

What can YOU do?
See the advert and read comments about it on my blog at: http://mc4bbs.livejournal.com/183580.html

Add your name to the over 12,750 signatures on the "reinstate its Deli Mayo TV advertisement" petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/heinz/petition.html

Let Heinz know that YOU WILL NO LONGER buy their products and, as a gay man, will activily take a stand against anyone or any company that caters to the homophobic. Send them your commants here: http://www.heinz.co.uk/content/talk_to_us.aspx



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
e-Mail reply from Heinz
Dear Charles

Thank you for your recent email regarding the Heinz UK commercial for Deli Mayo. Consumer feedback is very important to us and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Heinz pulled the ad in the UK because our consumer research showed that the ad failed in its attempt to be humorous and offended people on all sides.

Heinz apologises for its misplaced attempt at humour and we accept that this ad was not in accordance with our long-standing corporate policy of respecting everyone's rights and values.

Again, our sincere apology to anyone who felt offended. We appreciate you taking time to contact us to express your opinion and allowing us to address this issue.

Liz Pickstock
Consumer Contact Department


This email is not intended to create a contract or an offer of acceptance or other legally binding commitment, unless that is expressly stated to be the case in the email.If the email does expressly state that a contract is created, then any contract for sale by us of goods will (unless expressly stated otherwise) be subject to the relevant H.J. Heinz's Standard Conditions of Sale applicable to that type of goods which are set out at www.heinzcustomers.co.uk and any contract for purchase by us of goods will (unless expressly stated otherwise) be subject to the relevant H.J. Heinz's Standard Conditions of Purchase which are set out at www.heinzcustomers.co.uk

H.J. Heinz group trading companies (all registered in England and Wales): H.J. Heinz Company Limited (company number 147624), HP Foods Limited (company number 2251694), Heinz Single Service Limited (company number 1749058) and H.J. Heinz Frozen & Chilled Foods Limited (company number 2207650); all with registered office address at South Building, Hayes Park, Hayes, Middlesex, UB4 8AL.

This email and any attachments are confidential and solely for the use of the intended recipient. They may contain material protected by legal professional or other privilege. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering to the intended recipient, you are not authorised to and must not disclose, copy, distribute or retain this email or its attachments. Although this email and its attachments are believed to be free of any virus or other defect, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that they are virus free and no responsibility is accepted by the company for any loss or damage arising from receipt or use thereof.

Edited at 2008-07-08 02:38 pm (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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