A TV ad for Heinz Beanz, seen in May 2017, depicted a man arriving home to his family – a woman and young girl. The man was asked whether he was hungry and he responded, “I am darling, but diet is key” before taking a drink from the fridge and continuing "I’m on a new regime, Dean calls the ‘three P’s’. … This is the last P: Protein, which I've supercharged with high fibre and minimal fat.” The woman took some baked beans from the microwave and said, “Same. We’re just having some beans.” The screen displayed prominent text which stated “High in protein. High in Fibre. Low in Fat”, then displayed a can of Heinz Beanz with the accompanying text, “Good for you, without going on about it”.
Three complainants challenged whether the ad included a nutrition claim which complied with the Code.
Heinz Foods UK Ltd considered the ad did not make a non-permitted nutrition claim. They 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. Heinz Foods UK stated that it was not possible from the ad for viewers to identify the liquid. 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 the fact that they were able to make these claims about their product.
Heinz Foods UK said that, in the ad, the father character entered the kitchen after having undertaken exercise and drank an unidentifiable liquid from an unbranded, clear bottle which he said contained protein, fibre and minimal fats, but did not directly identify as a protein shake. Heinz Foods UK stated that the liquid was neutral in colour and they did not believe that it was possible for the viewer to conclude either what the liquid was or what it contained from looking at it. They stated that following the man’s description of the liquid it did not appear again. After this the ad shifted to focus on the woman, who said, "Same" whilst holding up a bowl of beans. Heinz Foods UK stated that the man's drink was neither referenced nor shown later in the ad, nor was the man’s drink shown alongside the on-screen nutritional claims made about Heinz Beanz.
Additionally Heinz Foods UK 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.
Clearcast said that they agreed with the response given by Heinz Foods UK, for the same reasons.
According to Regulation (EC) 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods (the Regulation), which was reflected in the BCAP Code, only nutrition claims listed in the Annex of the Regulation were permitted in ads promoting foods. Marketers must ensure the food met the conditions of use associated with the claims in question. EC and Department of Health Guidance noted that the claim “as much as”, or any claim having the same meaning, was considered to be a nutrition claim and as such must be listed in the Annex. However, that claim was not listed in the Annex and therefore such claims were not permitted. We acknowledged that Heinz Beans had provided adequate substantiation to support the fact that the claims “High in Protein”, “High in Fibre” and “Low in Fat” were permitted nutrition claims and that they were able to make those nutrition claims about their beans.
The ad showed the male character taking the drink out of the fridge before pointing to it and stating, “This is the last P - Protein, which I've supercharged with high fibre and minimal fat”. The ASA noted that the drink had a thick texture, and was brown with a lighter white head. The drink was contained in a protein shaker-style flask and was being consumed after what appeared to be an exercise session. The ad displayed text on-screen while the drink was being shown which stated “Protein contributes to a growth in muscle mass”. Taken all together we considered that consumers would understand that the man was consuming a protein shake that was also high in fibre and low in fat.
We considered that 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 that had just been displayed, particularly as directly afterwards the text “High in protein. High in Fibre. Low in Fat” appeared next to the bowl of beans. We noted that the ad did not state that Heinz Beanz had greater or fewer nutritional benefits than the protein shake, however, we considered that the overall impression created by the ad was that Heinz Beanz contained as much protein, fibre and fat as a typical protein shake.
The Annex to the Regulation did not include any nutrition claims which would allow marketers to make a claim that one food had “as much” of a nutrient or nutrients as another food. 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.
Because the ad made a nutrition claim which was not permitted in the Annex to the Regulation, we concluded that the claims were in breach of the Code.
The ad breached BCAP Code rule 13.4 (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Heinz Foods UK Ltd to ensure they did not make nutrition claims that were not permitted in the Annex to the Regulation.