Multinational Heinz has pulled the plug on an advert for its ‘Deli Mayo’ product featuring two kissing men after receiving over 200 complaints.

The jokey commercial depicts a classic morning scene at a family home as the children pick up their sandwiches for school. “Mum”, however, has been replaced by a male New York deli worker clad in a chef’s hat and apron. As the father of the house grabs his sandwich, the two men share a goodbye kiss on the mouth.

Within days of its launch, the advert was pulled from British television after receiving 202 objections from viewers, a high number in such a short time.

“The advertisement, part of a short-run campaign, was intended to be humorous and we apologize to anyone who felt offended,” said Nigel Dickie, Director of Corporate Affairs for Heinz UK.

However, Heinz made no apology to the many gay consumers it had also offended by pulling the commercial.

The dropping of the advertisement has resulted in British gay-rights group Stonewall calling on consumers, both gay and straight, to boycott all Heinz products.

Stonewall’s chief executive, Ben Summerskill, blasted Heinz’s decision and said many members of the LGBT community had already complained to Heinz in a bid to reverse the advertisement’s removal.

“If the ad showed a black couple, and people complained, I very much doubt they would withdraw it,” he said, also encouraging consumers to engage in “ethical consumerism” by not buying Heinz products.

An online petition calling on Heinz to re-instate the ad has also been set up and already had almost 2000 endorsements at the time of going to press.

“…Heinz have given the impression that they would prefer to cater for the homophobic than the free-thinking, and the decision has provoked upset, brand distrust and outrage among the LGBT community and outside of it,” reads the petition.

The ad, which was launched on British television just over a week ago and was meant to run for five weeks, was taken off the air on Friday.

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