A TV commercial for Heinz mayonnaise which features two men kissing has been pulled by the company after it caused nearly 200 complaints.
The advert shows a family scene, but ‘mum’ is played by a man with a New York accent. During the ad he kisses another man who plays the father role.
It ends with the slogan ‘Heinz Deli Mayo – Mayo with a New York Deli flavour.’
According to the ad agency that created the commercial, the concept was supposed to convey the message that the product tastes so authentic “it’s as if you have your own New York deli man in your kitchen”.
However viewers said it was ‘offensive’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unsuitable to be seen by children’.
Some parents said they had been forced to explain about same-sex relationships to their children after they saw the ad which was aired during daytime TV.
The Advertising Standards Authority has not confirmed it is investigating the commercial, but with nearly 200 complaints it is already one of the most-complained-of ads this year.
Nigel Dickie, a spokesman for Heinz UK, said: “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.
“The advertisement, part of a short-run campaign, was intended to be humorous and we apologise to anyone who felt offended.”
Homosexual activist group, Stonewall, has called for a boycott of Heinz products for pulling the ad. The group is encouraging homosexuals to contact Heinz’s customer support helpline to pressurise the company into making a reverse decision.