A TV ad for Heinz Beanz has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for making an unsubstantiated health claim.
The advert featured a man talking about his exercise regime to his family, before drinking a beverage that he described as being high in protein.
His partner responds by saying “Same. We’re having some beans”, followed by text on screen which stated “High in protein. High in fibre. Low in fat”.
Three complainants challenged the ad’s was claim that beans were a better source of protein than a sports nutrition drink, a nutrition claim that was not compliant with the Code of Advertising Practice (CAP).
Heinz Foods UK Ltd said there was no breach of the code and stated that in order to make a comparison between beans and the drink, the viewer would need to be able to identify the liquid being drunk. It claimed it was not possible from the ad for viewers to do so.
Evidence to support these claims
Heinz Foods UK stated that the intent of the ad was to make the nutritional claims “High in protein. High in Fibre. Low in Fat” about the beans, providing evidence to support these claims about its product.
Additionally the company stated that the ad did not contain any references to Heinz Beanz having greater or lesser nutritional benefits than the liquid, which might otherwise imply a comparison.
The ASA acknowledged that Heinz Beanz had provided adequate substantiation to support its high in protein, fibre and low in fat claims.
However, the watchdog considered that consumers would understand that the man in the ad was consuming a protein shake that was also high in fibre and low in fat.
Not permitted under the CAP code
Claims that one food has as much of a nutrient or nutrients as another food are not permitted under the CAP code.
The ASA said: “In the context of the man’s statements, the mother’s statement ‘Same. We’re just having some beans’ would be interpreted by viewers to mean that the beans had as much protein, fibre and fat as the protein shake.
“We therefore noted that the claim in the ad – that Heinz Beanz had the same nutritional benefits relating to protein, fibre and fat as a protein shake – was not permitted.”
The watchdog ruled that the ad was in breach of the CAP code and must not appear again in its current form.
Meanwhile, last year, a Heinz Beanz ad was pulled from television screens, after it was judged to encourage behaviour that was dangerous and unsafe by the ASA.