Heinz ordered to dump ‘misleading’ Free Dayz Out ad

HeinzHeinz Beanz has been crushed by the ad watchdog over a bungled campaign promoting its “Free Dayz Out With Every Pack” offer, after failing to spell out “significant conditions”, leaving consumers both confused and misled.

The promotion, which ran on Heinz Beanz tins last summer, was flagged up on the front of the tin while text on the back stated “We could tell you that our Beanz are hard to beat […] Instead, we would like to offer you a day out on us […] Claim your voucher on dayout.heinz.co.uk T&Cs apply”. Next to that was a graphic of a ticket stub with a QR code and text that stated “Scan to claim your reward Heinz Dayz Out”.

But one customer was so miffed that they rifled off a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority to challenge whether the promotion was misleading as it did not provide any details of restrictions.

In its defence, Heinz maintained the ad contained clear instructions on how to enter the promotion. It claimed that as it was significantly limited by space, the text directed consumers to an “easily accessible alternative source” which contained all significant terms and conditions.

Scanning the QR code or following the web address on-pack took consumers to a form that could be completed to redeem entry to the events and activities. To submit the form, consumers had to tick a box confirming they had read the promotion’s terms and conditions. Consumers also had to enter a batch code from the bottom of the tin; no proof of purchase was required.

Heinz said the promotion’s significant terms and conditions were below the form and stated “UK, 18+. Opens 28 June 2023. Claim voucher by 31st October 2023. Use voucher by 31st December 2023, unless otherwise stated. One claim per product purchased. Maximum of two claims per person per day”.

The firm claimed that due to limited space available on the ad it was appropriate to make the T&Cs of the promotion available on the website.

However, the ASA had other ideas. The CAP Code states that promotions must communicate all applicable significant conditions where their omission was likely to mislead. Significant conditions may, depending on the circumstances, include information about how to participate and a closing date.

The ASA understood that only consumers aged 18 years and over could participate in the promotion; promotional vouchers had to be claimed by October 31 2023; only one claim could be made per product purchased; and that consumers could only make two claims per day each.

It considered these were “significant conditions” which were likely to affect consumers’ understanding of the promotion and their decision to participate. It therefore considered their omission was likely to mislead.

The CAP Code also states that marketing communications that include a promotion and which are significantly limited by space must include as much information about significant conditions as practicable.

The ad did not include any of the above significant conditions of the promotion. However, the watchdog considered the ad was not sufficiently limited by time or space to justify their omission. It therefore concluded the ad had breached the Code.

Banning the ad from appearing again in that form, the ASA went on to warn HJ Heinz about any future activity.

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