British TV censors have banned an ad for Heinz Baked Beans after viewers complained that it could encourage kids to cut themselves.
The Advertising Standards Agency has banished an ad encouraging viewers to use empty tins as a musical instrument, which they said is “dangerous for children to emulate”.
The advert, featuring actors drumming on the cans whilst singing, told the audience to “learn the #cansong”, and to recycle old cans as their makeshift instruments.
In the video, the advert suggested not only washing but securing the cans with tape “just to be safe” before use (shown in cartoon form above).
But officials decided this wasn’t enough, and sided with the nine complainants who objected to the advert.
In its defence, Heinz suggested that the advert went to great lengths to demonstrate safe taping of cans, and that it was not specifically aimed at children.
They also pointed out that many consumers had safely uploaded their own attempts at the Can Song to social media, seemingly without incident.
The NGO Clearcast, responsible for pre-approval of adverts in the UK, also suggested that the handling of cans in the advert “did not look dangerous or reckless”.
Yesterday, however, the ASA ruled in favour of complainants, stating “the advert must not be broadcast again in its current form” and that Heinz must ensure its future content does not “condone or encourage behaviour that prejudice[s] health and safety.”