The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the advert, upholding 15 complaints that it was irresponsible for encouraging alcohol consumption in a stadium within sight of the pitch, which is against the law.
It also upheld complaints from six viewers who claimed it condoned taking glass bottles into a football stadium, which is also not permitted.
The advert traced the journey of a man on a remote island who received two tickets for the Champions League Final at Wembley, packed two bottles of Heineken, and set off for the match.
After a series of encounters, the man finally arrived at Wembley Stadium in a Chinook helicopter and sat next to a woman before they removed the two beer bottles and clinked them together.
Heineken claimed the ad was so stylised it clearly represented the fantasy of one man’s journey to watch the Champions League Final, rather than reality, so was not meant to encourage illegal action.
In its adjudication, the ASA said the advert “could give the impression to viewers” that taking glass bottles of alcohol into football stadiums and drinking them within sight of the pitch was acceptable.
“We therefore concluded that the ad was socially irresponsible, because it condoned or encouraged behaviour that was either illegal or not permitted,” the ASA stated. “The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.”
In its response to the ruling, Heineken stated: “In creating the global commercial, Heineken used its established style to tell a story which is clearly one man’s comical journey to the Champions League final.
“We believed that the vast majority of viewers would understand the highly unrealistic nature of the closing scene, and that there was no intention to encourage or condone anti-social behaviour. That said, we fully respect and will comply with the ASA’s decision on the matter.”