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BrewDog’s win a “solid gold Punk IPA can” advert “misleading”!

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled on the social media advertisements by BrewDog plc.

On 12 November 2020 BrewDog tweeted:

“Dear People Of The World, 10 solid gold Punk IPA cans are hidden in Punk 12-packs which will ship from our online shop over the next 4 weeks. Winners receive a gold can worth £15k, 10K of BrewDog shares & VIP tour of our Brewery”.

On 15 February 2021 BrewDog tweeted:

“The hunt for the gold can is on”.

And

“We’ve hidden 5 gold wrapped cans in 12, 24 and 48- packs of Hazy Jane on our online store. Find the wrapped can and you can claim a solid gold, 24-carat one!”

On 15 February 2021 BrewDog posted on Facebook:

“The hunt for the gold can is on”.

And

“We’ve hidden 5 gold-wrapped cans in 12, 24 and 48-packs of Hazy Jane on our online store. Find the wrapped can and you can claim a solid gold, 24-carat one!”

And

“The real gold cans are tracked, monitored and delivered by an armoured drone fitted with the latest anti-pillage technology, probably”.

The adverts received 25 complaints from those who understood the prize was not made from “solid gold”.

The cans were in fact 24-carat gold plated.

BrewDog stated their social media adverts used the word “solid” in error and that they amended the Facebook posts as soon as it was noticed. However, they were not able to amend the tweets and chose not to delete them. Instead, they dropped the word “solid” from all the subsequent tweets.

BrewDog apologised for its initial adverts but stated that a solid gold can would have had a value of around half a million dollars at the gold price of $1,800 an ounce. BrewDog stated that they could not see that any reasonable consumer would assume they were going to win over half a million dollars of gold, especially as they gave the rough estimate of “15k”.

The ASA ruled that “a general audience was unlikely to be aware of the price of gold, how that would translate into the price of a gold can, and whether that was inconsistent with the valuation stated in the advert”.

The ASA ruled that the adverts were “misleading” as they stated the prize included a “solid gold” can. The ASA stated that as the “awarded prize was not the same as that described in the ads, the promotion caused unnecessary disappointment to participants and therefore breached the CAP Code.

In particular, the adverts breached CAP Code rule 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 8.1 and 8.2 (Promotional marketing).

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