he advertising watchdog has found that a promotion by beer maker Brewdog around “solid gold” cans was misleading.
Between late last year and earlier in 2021, the craft beer company had three social media posts around solid gold cans. Winners could receive one worth £15,000 alongside other prizes.
But the Advertising Standards Authority said there was 25 complainants, who understood that the prize was not made from “solid gold”. They challenged whether the ads were misleading.
ASA today said it concluded that the adverts were misleading. It added: “We considered that because the awarded prize was not the same as that described in the ads, the promotion caused unnecessary disappointment to participants.”
The drinks group has now said the prize “was merely gold plated”.
BrewDog posted a tweet in November last year saying 10 “solid gold IPA cans” were hidden in some of its packs, and winners who found them would get a prize.
BrewDog also tweeted in February this year that there were five gold wrapped cans to be found and winners could claim a solid gold, 24 carat one. A Facebook post the same day said winners could claim that.
Co-founder James Watt said: “We hold our hands up, we got the first gold can campaign wrong. Whilst we still stand by the valuation, we made mistakes which we’ve learnt from.”
BrewDog has now launched a new gold can promotion. It said it will give people the chance to win one of 10 diamond encrusted gold plated cans. It added that it will donate £5,000 to the charity of each winner’s choice.
The winners can choose to take the can, which Brewdog said is worth £25,000, or that sum in cash if they prefer.
BrewDog apologised and said it would “listen, learn and act”.
Meanwhile, earlier this month The Daily Telegraph reported that the company is poised to delay its stock market float until 2023 after the firm’s advisers warned that the hospitality market faces months of uncertainty.
Regarding the initial ads that were deemed misleading, the company has offered to buy the gold cans back from the original winners for £15,000 if they want.
Watt said: “Since we’re offering a cash alternative in our new gold can promotion, we ought to do the same for winners of the original promo. I will be funding this personally by forgoing salary for as long as it takes.”