Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ten Thousand Sign Heinz Petition

I've been watching for a while as the petition to Heinz to reinstate their ad has ticked closer to the momentous threshold of it's ten thousandth signature. Well at High Noon UK time, after all this is a UK ad, on the 28th June it was only 12 signature short of that number. It's only taken 15 minutes more to get to 10,000.

Considering that Heinz initially said when removing their ad that they listen to their customers can I ask are they listening now? So basing what they say are 202 or 10,000 people going to be listened to? It has already been over 57 hours since I sent emails and posted complaints to Heinz UK. Mr Nigel Dickie, who yesterday along with other execs at Heinz removed their personal contact details from Heinz's website, not Mr Michael Mullen have not even had the decency to get somebody within the organisation acknowledge my emails and complaints. As someone who works in a call centre environment I know that even a simple acknowledgement at a time like this is easily achievable. After all those of us who have written in are largely aware that a lot of others are doing so as well. 57 hours however is a little bit long to get yourself into motion.

Heinz on their website list their Premier Values. How do they score this week.

Passion . . . to be passionate about winning and about our brands, products and people, thereby delivering superior value to our shareholders.

Heinz produced an ad that was innovative, with layered very dry British humour. They also were launching a new range linking it with the New York Deli's it was named after. However, when the American Family Association issued an alert their passion wavered. (Notice one lie the fact that the vote on civil partnership in California is stated as not being legal in England [the UK])Despite the spontaneous nature of the counter debate and individual comments and letters many posted on various forums no passion to restore the ad is forthcoming.

3/10 for trying then backtracking than failing to acknowledge a mistake.

Risk Tolerance . . . to create a culture where entrepreneurship and prudent risk taking are encouraged and rewarded.

A prudent risk was taken with the ad, it was shown in a more tolerant society than the USA. Sadly the actions of reactionaries in another country is attacking the liberties of a sovereign state. Watch out UK we'll soon be on some axis of evil and be invaded by our ally if this keep up. A risk was taken, but it hasn't been rewarded what off the person who commissioned the ad, they have since been slammed from on high that the ad is "not in accordance with Corporate Policy". How is that going to encourage whatever members of Heinz staff gauged that risk and took the ad campaign on board?

1/10 First sign that the risk failed they backtracked ignoring any counter risk.

Excellence . . . to be the best in quality and in everything we do.

Whoops. I think the above says it all first they said they listened to their consumers but haven't seemed to listen to one side of the argument.

5/10 This 5 is purely for the ad itself.

Motivation . . . to celebrate success, recognizing and rewarding the achievements of individuals and teams.

Oops again Nigel Dickie's original comments to his UK market have since been overruled and overridden from the corporate chiefs. The advertising team must be feeling small if still employed and not currently on gardening leave. Motivation has been given to their consumers however, to protest, blog, boycott and complain, not an ideal business model.


Innovation . . . to innovate in everything, from products to processes.

Product I have not tasted yet was going to try some this week but as I'm boycotting no idea. Advert again good product. Processes lousy no response, hiding away hoping the storm will pass, no signs yet, pulled an ad before investigation which in all likelihood if any action is taken will result in protests of about 50% of current ads on UK TV as a result of far more graphic depictions/implying of actual sexual activity.

4/10 All points awarded to product not process.

Empowerment . . . to empower our talented people to take the initiative and to do what's right.

They took an initiative have since been told that was wrong.

0/10 Can't promise one and fail to deliver on the other.

Respect . . . to act with integrity and respect towards all.

TOWARDS ALL Heinz!!! Now respectfully explaining the concept of the ad to the AFA should have been enough. However, it is a long held theory that ironic humour is often lost on the Americans, no offence to any and I know some who do get it. No same sex parenting couple that I, and many comments from others on messages boards I've read, know of exists where there is a not either two mums or two dads, or the non-biological partner is merely known by their name. Therefore there is no gay kiss. The peck is far less sexual than a kiss going on in a UK ad for Heinz Salad Cream, which also contains nudity and forced removal or anther's clothing. So why is one ok by corporate policy and the other not Heinz?

-10/10 Two facedness, taking backwards steps over equality.

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