Food brand strong despite gay advert furore

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Heinz, the US-based international food brand, has weathered a storm of protest from LGBT community with little damage to its reputation, reports

Last month, reported Heinz’s decision to pull a TV advertisement featuring a gay kiss after 215 people complained.

This resulted in a furious backlash from gay rights campaigners, LGBT media and politicians.

Thousands signed online petitions calling for the advert to be reinstated.

Gay equality organisation Stonewall called for a ethical purchasing policy when it comes to Heinz goods and protested at Pride London that “Beanz Meanz Bigots,” a play on the slogan “Beanz Meanz Heinz.”

A group of MPs signed an early day motion in the House of Commons condemning Heinz for withdrawing the advert.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg wrote to Heinz, calling the decision to pull the advert a “backward step in attempts to combat homophobia in Britain today.”

However, the furore has done little to dent Heinz’s power as a global icon, according to market research agency YouGov.

Immediately after Heinz pulled the plug on the advert, their “buzz” rating, which measures people’s positive or negative impressions of the brand, had dipped by one percentage point.

However, Heinz’s “recommend,” “quality” and “satisfaction” levels have either increased or remained steady.

Heinz has stayed silent over the affair, other than to apologise for “offending” viewers of the advert.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority recently announced it would not be investigating the advert as it did not breach the TV Advertising Code.