The television ad, seen in May, showed a man arriving home to his family and taking a drink from the fridge which he described as having protein “supercharged with high fibre and minimal fat”, before his wife said: “Same. We’re just having some beans.”
The screen displayed prominent text which stated: “High in protein. High in Fibre. Low in Fat,” while displaying a can of Heinz Beanz.
Three viewers complained that the ad included a nutrition claim that did not comply with the advertising code.
Heinz said the aim of the ad was simply to make nutritional claims about the product’s high protein and fibre and low fat content.
It said 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 Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Heinz Beans had provided adequate substantiation to support its high protein and fibre and low fat claims, which were permitted and allowable for inclusion in the ad.
But it said the overall impression that Heinz Beanz contained as much protein, fibre and fat as a typical protein shake was not allowed, as such claims were not approved in the relevant EU regulations.
The ASA said: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Heinz Foods UK to ensure they did not make nutrition claims that were not permitted in the Annex to the Regulation.”
A Heinz spokesman said: “Heinz Beanz are naturally high in protein and fibre as well as being low in fat and sugar. That is not in question.
“Our popular ad ‘Good without going on about it’ simply aimed to be a memory jogger about the goodness of beans in a humorous way which we believed fully met advertising requirements.
“In line with the ASA decision we will amend the ad, which we plan to have back on TV in February next year.”