Heinz is what bigots taste like

Heinz pulled a mayo ad, airing only in Britain, because it showed a man kissing his partner goodbye on his way to work.

Heinz felt it had to pull the ad, and I repeat, only aired in the UK, because Bill O’Reilly complained that he didn’t want to see it, even though it wasn’t aired in the US at all. Nice.

So Heinz now has an official policy that gay couples are verboten in Heinz ads, even in Europe. Gays are too controversial, too icky, too gross for Heinz. Very nice. Does Heinz also feel that gays are too gross to market to in Spain, where gays can legally marry? How about Norway, we can marry there too. And I wonder how Heinz feels about a black man kissing a white woman. I can see it now, try Heinz’s new Miscegenation Mayonnaise, served on white bread only.

Heinz is one of the most recognizable brands in America. So it shouldn’t be too hard to remember to avoid all of their products now and in the future. It’s not like there isn’t other mayo and ketchup to buy (and honestly, Heinz mayo? who buys that crap anyway?)

Please contact Heinz and let them have it:

Contact Heinz
UK: Nigel Dickie, +44 20 8848 2726 – [email protected]
US: Jessica Jackson, 412-237-3562 – [email protected]
Michael Mullen, 412-456-5751 – [email protected]

Here’s the ad:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cXNzcxDrN4]


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • NormalPersonHere

    I agree. The word homophobe gets tossed around like the word racism. Just a copout. People who despise Gaydom aren’t phobics. They just believe the world was normal for thousands of years before now and that it won’t be if all the fags in the world keep spreading their disease and pedophilic ways. Just the thought of a man pluggin another guy’s backdoor is enough for me to want to vomit blood. And the gays are the predominant force behind porn.

  • NormalPersonHere

    Looks like Heinz came to their senses. Who the Hell wants to see Sodomites being flaunted in their faces. No NORMAL person wants to.

  • nhguy

    Homophobia: (homo-fob-iya, from Greek homós: one and the same; phóbos: fear, phobia)
    A fake sickness made up by a bunch of abnormal people in order to feel better about themselves.

  • nia

    let them hear us! write an email to [email protected] with copy to [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]

    i’ve sent this:

    subject: Censoring of Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad

    dear mr. or mrs. i’m really disappointed, why did you remove the Heinz Deli Mayo TV ad made by BBDO only because a bunch of sick homophobes pressured you to do that? you are endorsing a homophobe agenda and i won’t buy any of your products again until you repair the damage you have done. you have lost one customer, and i’m pretty sure i won’t be the only one. have a nice day xxxxxx

    and sign the petition too: http://www.petitiononline.com/heinz/petition.html

    we are a lot more than 200 sick homophobes, and they have lost us as customers!

  • Blueflash

    Ditto. Bigots like Quasar who haven’t the guts to just plain say they hate us are the most repugnant sort. EWWW.

  • tlsintx

    hey, youtube removed the vid…wonder why?
    Donald Wildmon and the AFA are hysterically railing against this horrible situation. figures.

  • warsaw

    Take your support for gay marriage and equal protections and shove them. Gay men kissing is part of the whole package. Noone here cares about or respects your “EWWW’ response to gay pdas. I reject your need to express bigotry on this site. If that’s the way you feel, go ahead and vote against gay marriage and for constitutional amendments de-legitimizing gays. Your partial acceptance is meaningless.

  • Quasarerazar

    Speaking as someone who is not gay but does support gay marriage and equal protections for gays: I could do without seeing gay men kissing, and I don’t want to buy mayonaise associated with gay men. ewww…
    Couldn’t they do a similar ad without the pda? where it’s just a cutesy kind of ‘implied’ relationship that they’re gay?
    While we’re at it could we just keep all types of pda’s out of advertising, gay and straight….

  • tlsintx

    yes, and the Mum guy could kick Billo’s ass.

  • DavidinChelseaMA

    I CONTACTED JESSICA JACKSON AND MICHAEL MULLEN.

    THANKS FOR LETTING US KNOW ABOUT THIS, JOHN. I TOLD THEM BOTH THAT I’VE TOLD ALL MY FRIENDS, FAMILY MEMBERS, AND ASSOCIATES AT WORK TO STOP USING PRODUCTS FROM HEINZ. WE SHOULD ALL DO THE SAME.

  • jonworks

    HERE IS THE FULL CONTACT LIST FOR HEINZ:

    HEINZ CONSUMER AFFAIRS

    For general consumer product questions, information about current promotions or suggestions, please contact Heinz Consumer Affairs at (800) 255-5750. You may also click here to email Consumer Affairs.

    If you are a member of the media and need to contact our Communications Department, please contact the appropriate person listed below.

    HEINZ WORLD HEADQUARTERS

    P.O. Box 57
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230

    Ted Smyth
    Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate & Government Affairs
    Telephone: 412-456-5780
    Fax: 412-456-6025
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Michael Mullen
    (Primary Press Contact)
    Director of Global Corporate Affairs
    Telephone: 412-456-5751
    Cell: 412-613-5214
    Fax: 412-456-7883
    E-Mail: [email protected]

    Mike Yeomans
    Manager Communications
    Telephone: 412-456-5788
    Fax: 412-456-7883
    E-Mail: [email protected]

    THE AMERICAS

    Heinz North America
    P.O. Box 57
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230

    Jessica Jackson
    Senior Manager, Public Relations
    Telephone: 412-237-3562
    Fax: 412-456-6025
    E-mail:
    [email protected]

    Tracey Parsons
    Manager, Public Relations
    Telephone: 412-237-5774
    Fax: 412-456-6025
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Heinz Canada
    90 Sheppard Avenue East
    Suite 400
    North York, Ontario M2N 7K5
    Joan Patterson
    Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager
    Telephone: 416-226-7587
    Fax: 416-226-5141
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Alimentos Heinz C.A.
    Heinz Venezuela
    Ave. Orinoco, Torre UNO, Piso 1
    Las Mercedes, Caracas 1060
    Venezuela
    Media Contact Telephone: +58 212-909-1811
    Fax: +58 212-993-0329
    E-mail: [email protected]

    EUROPE

    Heinz Europe
    South Building, Hayes Park
    Hayes, Middlesex
    UB4 8AL

    Heinz UK & Ireland
    South Building, Hayes Park
    Hayes, Middlesex
    UB4 8AL
    Nigel Dickie
    Director of UK Corporate and Government Affairs
    Telephone: 44 (0) 20 8848 2726
    Cell: 44 (0) 773 657 2909
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Heinz Italy
    Via Cascina Bel Casule 7
    20141 Milano, Italy
    Antonio Cartolari
    Director Communications
    Telephone: +39 02 5256 2357
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Heinz Netherlands
    De Breul, Arnhemse Bovenweg 160-178
    3708 AH Zeist
    Netherlands

    Peter Boterman
    Heinz Netherlands
    Telephone: +31 30 697 3620
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Heinz Poland
    Wilanowska 212
    02-756
    Warsaw, Poland

    Patrycja Hatalska
    Heinz Poland
    Telephone: +48 22 849 7882
    E-mail: [email protected]

    PACIFIC RIM AND ASIA

    Heinz Wattie’s Australasia
    105 Camberwell Road
    East Hawthorn, Victoria 3123
    Australia

    Heinz Australia
    105 Camberwell Road
    Hawthorn East 3123
    Victoria, Australia
    Ros Kohler
    HR & Corporate Affairs Manager
    Telephone: +61 3 9861 5015
    Fax: +61 3 9861 5513

  • Ethrdg

    From an entry someone posted earlier:
    “They [Heinz] chose to run the ad in the first place, which was brave of them. They pulled the ad because the religious right in the UK put forth a concerted effort to get the ad pulled. The RR got enough people to complain to the regulatory agency to put the ad in danger of being yanked off the air.”

    It would have been brave of them to KEEP it on the air, despite the complaints. If the regulatory agency had pulled the ad, it would be them that the GLBT community would take issue with. Because Heinz chose to pull it, they put themselves in the crosshairs. Bravery is about standing up for what you believe in–not caving at the first sign of opposition. If that’s Heinz’s idea of sticking up for me, then thanks, but no thanks!

    The boycott they were facing from the religious right isn’t anything compared to what they will likely now face…

  • xefic

    Here is the text of the email I sent to Ms Jackson:

    To: [email protected]

    Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 8:20 PM

    Subject: Mayonnaise

    I read with disappointment your press release indicating that Heinz UK was withdrawing their Deli Mayonnaise television advertisement. When will you realize that the more you give these extreme right wing hate groups, the more they will demand? It’s only a matter of time before they insist that you clarify your diversity statement to insist that it doesn’t really apply to the LGBT community. One wonders how long it will take O’Reilly and similar ideologues to insist that you stop advertising to Muslims, or Arabs, or non-Christians…

    If you only sell products to people who no one hates, who will be left to buy your ketchup?

    I respect your right to advertise how and to whom you like. I will exercise my right to no longer purchase your products. I will miss your Reduced Sugar Ketchup and Weight Watchers food products.

    Thanks for listening.

  • bkmn

    Heinz pulled the ad because the UK regulatory agency had a number of complaints. I, for one, intend to support Heinz.

    They are now facing a boycott from the AFA/Don Wildmon of the religious right.

    They chose to run the ad in the first place, which was brave of them. They pulled the ad because the religious right in the UK put forth a concerted effort to get the ad pulled. The RR got enough people to complain to the regulatory agency to put the ad in danger of being yanked off the air.

    So as much hubris as has been raised in this thread, take a minute and look at the issue from a different viewpoint. I don’t work for Heinz, have no relatives or friends that have ties to Heinz and I have no stock in Heinz.

    The ad was innocuous…the fundie response was not. Nor was the potential pulling of the ad in the UK.

    Our response needs to be well thought through…

  • Bluestate Redbear

    This is what I just wrote to the folks:

    Mr. Dickie, Ms. Jackson, and Mr. Mullen:

    I’ve seen the ad that was pulled from UK airwaves as a result of a small number of complaints, due to its content. As a reasonably intelligent human being, it was immediately obvious to me that the intent of the commercial wasn’t to show a gay couple, but to show how your product makes homemade sandwiches taste like those from a New York delicatessen. I thought it was extremely clever.

    However, as an intelligent human being, and as an openly gay man, I find it insulting that you would cave to the pressures of a small group, rather than standing behind your product and your message. Bigotry in this day and age, while alive and well, should be stood up to, rather than supported by caving into its ugly whims.

    Therefore, since it seems the decision-makers in your company will not support itself in the face of open bigotry, I will not support your products, and will be making it known to my friends, family, and others whom I can reach that they should do the same until such time as you show yourselves to be stronger-willed than those who have no sense of humor, nor sense of intelligence.

  • That’s a great ad.

  • Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas

    LOL….here in Dallas the DART workers are very nice folks and the
    passengers suck

  • ndtovent

    I just emailed em.. Thank you for that list of products. I buy a few of those, but didn’t know they were made by heinz. I included the ones I buy in my email, and added a couple of others that will stop buying immediately if they don’t get their act together.

  • fleck2

    Hey, thanks for the list of Heinz products. I’ll forward the names to my e-lists–and that’s over 500 names for a start. They all snicker at such stupidity while they close their wallets against it.

  • fleck2

    Hey, thanks for

  • Indigo

    Go for it!

  • RobertSanDimas

    Mmmwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh, Indigo!! Beautifully said. Others here said it well too. Good going. I’ll add my email to the deluge that Heinz will receive.

  • warsaw

    Using your words with a few changes in my email, (permission to plagiarize, please?) I always get too wordy.

  • warsaw

    I love that ad. Maybe Bill O’R is pissed because the Mum character is clearly American and this ad, from his measly point of view, might seem to mock American males and makes them objects of ridicule in Yur-upp. The Heinz Corp. is a chickenshit outfit and I wish to god that George Carlin was here to mock the shit out of them endlessly for their cowardice and roll-over to the absurdly thin-skinned American right.

  • Brad310

    I’m wondering if all Heinz commercials need to be pre-screened by O’Reilly now…

  • Ethrdg

    Oh, the power of the almighty dollar…

    In addition to the Heinz ketchup other products with the Heinz name (including mayonnaise, 57 sauce, salad dressings, vinegar, relish, pickles, beans, etc.), here are other Heinz products to avoid:

    HP Sauce
    Lea and Perrins Worchestershire Sauce
    Jack Daniel’s Sauces and Marinades
    Mr. Yoshida’s Fine Sauces
    Ore-Ida (french fries)
    Delimex
    Bagel Bites brand frozen snacks
    Nancy’s Frozen Entrees, Snacks, Appetizers and Desserts
    T.G.I. Friday’s Frozen Snacks
    Wyler’s (bouillon and dry soup mix)
    Smart Ones frozen entrees
    Boston Market supermarket products

    And do e-mail them. It takes only a second–and it obviously makes a difference (they pulled the ad due to people writing, didn’t they?). Here’s what I wrote:

    “Subject: Heinz can do without my gay dollars, I suppose…

    To Whom It May Concern:

    So–it seems that gay couples are apparently too offensive and controversial for Heinz to feature them in their ads (even an ad like the “New York Deliman” ad–where the actual attempt was humor and not representation of real gay couples). I wonder if the hard-earned money of gay and lesbian couples will now be deemed too offensive and controversial for Heinz to accept? Probably not.

    By pulling an innocuous, lighthearted advertisement in order to appease a thin-skinned minority, you have offended and alienated your gay and lesbian customer base. As for my partner and I–who have purchased Heinz products for years–we won’t be buying any more of your products. I’m off to search the web right now to make–and share–a list of products for us, our friends and family to avoid.”

    Thanks for posting their contact info, John!

  • markthehandyman

    My email to Heinz:

    I’ll be promoting a Heinz boycott here in the US. I realize it was your UK counterparts that took down the recent mayo ad, but same corporation.

    Here’s my message to you: never make decisions based on a few loud right-wing voices. There are LOTS more of us middle-of-the-road types who buy your products. Or did until now. Very bad business decision.

  • vickif

    Neither do I. I think it’s adorable.

  • tlsintx

    my email to Heinz said:

    it’s a good ad, if you keep it, I’ll switch to your product from Hellman’s, how about we stop allowing the hateful minority to dictate what is tasteful and appropriate.

  • Indigo

    Did that.

    Said this:

    Dear Heinz Representative,

    Thank you for clarifying that Heinz’ products are only for straight people. The ad show in the U.K. and seen worldwide featuring a same sex couple was both amusing and pleasing. That your company decided to pull the ad rather than show a broad spectrum of social groups that include gays is disappointing. However, it clarifies the policy of your company and your distribution products.

    I promise, as a gay man, to respect your policy and never again to use a Heinz product.

    Very truly,

  • CitizenVA

    Thanks for the contact info John! :)

    CVA

  • scottinsf

    Passengers on MUNI and BART are pretty mellow to each other here. It’s the MUNI and BART workers we hate.

  • Man, I HATE it when these assholes with their hate and bigotry win. If I didn’t already use Hunts ketchup, I’d be switching tomorrow.

  • LawMichigander

    I remember when Republicans were boycotting Heinz because of John Kerry’s wife lol.

  • profxfiles

    Is that DiNiro or just someone doing a good impersonation of him?

  • kh7463

    I think its a great ad. It’s sad to know that the US is so backward as to not think this is a good ad. Of course we have those issues with nudity too. And to be perfectly honest, I didn’ t know there was a Heinz Mayo.

  • BCPipes

    What would the children think? Well, remembering how I thought as a child, I would have thought it absurdist humor and nothing more.

  • sputnik

    Here’s the email I sent:

    I’ve just watched your very cute commercial for Heinz Deli Mayo (the one with the two dads), and I’m shocked that you would remove it from the air based on complaints from US right wing pundits. As the father of a gay child, I’m happy to see positive, loving images of family relationships of ALL kinds, and Heinz’s shameful knuckling under to US political pressure (not even UK pressure) saddens me. It saddens me not only as a lifelong user of Heinz products, but as (until recently) a person who believed that your Diversity Statement was more than just lip service.

    I will refrain from buying Heinz products for myself or my family until Heinz shows ACTUAL commitment to diversity, not merely empty statements.

    Thank you,
    Xxxx Xxxxx
    Philadelphia

  • Shootingstar

    Come on, that was a very clever ad. It was pretty obvious that Heinz was implying that buying their product was the same as having a deli chef as “mom”. My kids thought the ad was funny, we especially enjoyed the comment “sweet cheeks”. I will most definitely write Heinz and explain that even “across the pond” we appreciate their products and would love to see this commercial in America. It will be a pleasure to explain that not all of us Yanks are as intolerant (ok, ignorant) as Mr. O’Reilly.

  • PAULinDC

    From the Heinz website: “The Deli Mayo TV advertisement in the UK was created as a humorous take on a slice of life and featured a genuine New York deli chef taking the place of a mum preparing great tasting sandwiches in the kitchen using UK Deli Mayo.”

    If they didn’t know there is, at least, a double entendre here, they are incompetent or ignorant. Thinking they could get away with it and not having the balls to stand by it is cowardly. Either way, they did the wrong thing for the wrong reason.

  • Steve_in_CNJ

    Hellmann’s it is then.

  • FrankSea

    Mayo… ick.

  • Nigel Elliott

    Doesn’t serial sexual harasser O’Reilly use mayo on his loofah? :-)
    http://www.salon.com/news/2004/10/13/o_reilly/

  • I agree. There is not a gay couple in that commercial.

  • kevinbgoode

    How could this commercial be considered inappropriate for children when there are two young children in it?

  • Heather

    To Whom It May Concern;

    As a human being with a sense of humor I found your ad to be endearing and funny. I am so disappointed that you would market the ad and then cave to brain-less pressure by a Fox News “Know-It-All”.

    He does not speak for me. And for what it’s worth I am heterosexual AND I am offended that you caved to the compaints of “202” people. How many out there will be more disappointed in you? You created the ad, you marketed the ad and then when you should have released a statement supporting the ad you caved.

    Shame on you!

    **Signed and sent. Thanks John. This is just stupid and I’m sick and tired of the crazy wing of the world being handed so much power. Since when do 202 complaints get a commercial removed from the air?

  • kevinbgoode

    Well, I did my part – wrote Heinz and told them I certainly wouldn’t support a company which depended upon the obviously tawdry outrage of someone like O’Lielly to dictate advertising content. This country has been held hostage far too long by the likes of that blowhard and the lazy-ass bigots he claims to represent.

  • Wesinoregon

    Good point. I am sick of the “few” telling everyone else how to live. Reminds me of the Rachel Ray scarf ordeal.with Duncan Donuts. MOST, thought the ad was just fine but they pulled it anyway. The companies should fear the majority not the few.

  • Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas

    My partner used to live in SFO and he said every morning on the BART (light
    rail), gay men and lesbians would peck their partners on the cheek and say
    “have a great day, honey”. Here in Dallas that would probably get someone to
    whip out a six shooter and take you out. If the damned cost of living were
    not so awful (housing) we’d go back to SFO in a heartbeat.

  • tlsintx

    fuckin A.

    that much hatred must be bad for any human, much less a kid.

  • maggiePA08

    The point system was scrapped weeks ago, but let me take this opportunity to applaud your always insightful commentary :)

  • Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas

    But of course it is fine to allow a five year old to see someone’s head being blown off in a car chase during trailers for the latest “Die Hard 32” during prime time viewing hours.

    America, with many of its roots in Puritan England, is a junior high school: titter, titter, giggle, giggle at matters of sexuality.

  • Lyonside

    Worst thing is, I didn’t initially read this as a gay couple with kids, but that the “Mum” is transformed into a stereotypically NY deli guy by using the deli mayo. I like the idea of an ad that works on various levels in multiple markets. It’s insane that people have no sense of humor – oh wait, humor that isn’t hateful usually involves seeing other points of view. No wonder these people objected.

  • Miket298

    Well if I am right they say that they received over 200 complaints, this means it was likely less then 300. There must be at least 300 americablog readers, if we call and complain will it take Bill O off the air?

  • sittenpretty

    hahahahahahahha…me too

  • sittenpretty

    how come i have won measly point,after my dozens of insightfull comments? Inquiring minds want to know

  • Freday63

    I am Feinz without Heinz!

  • Mark_Simpson

    I’m from the UK.
    Whilst I am sure that O’Reilly’s comments may have had a disproportionate effect, the UK Advertising Standards Agency, that regulates advertising, received over 200 complaints about the advert, mainly centred around it’s “unsuitability to be broadcast when children could be waching”
    Which I am absolutely amazed and ashamed about.

    In the context of the advert for UK viewers it wasn’t even a gay kiss – the traditional stereotypical mother in such ads was replaced by a stereotypical New York Deli chef.

    Even if it had been, I can’t see what was wrong with it.

    If they’d been “playing tonsil tennis” it would have been a different matter for an ad shown at times young children could be watching. But only because I think the more passionate parts of human sexuality, whether gay, straight or bi, should be introduced at an appropriate age for each child.

  • sittenpretty

    sorry people are just teh weird…at my place we prefer critters

    http://shaggydogfarms.com/

  • barbarajmay

    I liked the ad. This gives me an excuse to purge all the Heinz crap out of my fridge, just in case bigotry might be foodborne.

  • nicepaul

    This advert does not feature a gay couple (as has been misreported in this case) – it is a metaphor. The joke is that Heinz Deli Mayo makes sandwiches taste as if Mum’s kitchen has been transformed into a genuine New York deli.

    That said, it rather strongly implies that they would consider any kind of genuine homosexuality to be even “worse”!

    If offending 200 people causes them concern, I think they’ve just hit a PR disaster by offending the entire gay community, and all straight people who aren’t still living in the dark ages. Wake up Heinz – this is 2008, not 1908!

  • paulbot5

    At least they made an attempt to make an ad with gays, you should be thanking them, threatening boycotts would make more companies afraid to make similar ads, imo. A lot of people still don’t accept gays, take baby steps.

  • Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas

    Who the fuck died and made Bill O’Reilly in charge of ANYTHING except his tacky white trash news show? Hey John Kerry and Theresa Heinz Kerry! How about anyone who believes in basic civil rights not buying any more of your crap foods!!! That might just get some attention in PA

  • LucyD

    That ad made me smile =)
    Too bad Heinz’ advertising policy is written by O’Reilly….

  • mirth

    I love this vid!

    We are not powerless.

    Boycotts have a solid history of being an effective (and safe) means of protest. More than anything else, the corps fear us withholding our $ from their products.

    Boycott Heniz

  • Contact Heinz
    UK: Nigel Dickie, +44 20 8848 2726 – [email protected]
    US: Jessica Jackson, 412-237-3562 – [email protected]
    Michael Mullen, 412-456-5751 – [email protected]

  • kevinbgoode

    I don’t want to see Bill’s ugly mug on my television either – and I’m in America. So how come that lazy-ass blowhard and sexual deviant is still on the air?

  • Busboy

    Straights don’t even buy mayo; what are they thinking?

  • scooter in brooklyn

    i thought the ad was really cute. how pathetic these bigots are.

  • Guest

    Bill O’Reilly has Dick Morris on his show who cheated on his wife with hookers and Newt Gingrich who left his wife when she had cancer but thinks gay couples undermine western civilization

  • michaelt

    i find absolutely nothing wrong with that ad.

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