Brewdog boss defies watchdog by posting banned ad

Brewdog boss defies watchdog by posting banned ad

Scottish beer company Brewdog responded to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banning a “misleading” Instagram ad by reposting it on Twitter and Linkedin.

The ASA had received five complaints that the social media post in January implied that BrewDog’s Clean & Press Hard Seltzer was healthy and used general health claims that were not permitted for alcoholic drinks.

Its ad referred to the drink’s calorie content and said it contained “no carbs or sugar and a little bit of alcohol”, adding: “This is not a health drink. If you are looking for a health drink, do not drink Clean & Press.”

The ASA acknowledged that the ad “presented information in a tongue-in-cheek manner”. but nonetheless implied that the drink was beneficial to overall good health or health-related well-being.”

Responding to the ban, a Brewdog spokesman said: “We have accepted the ASA ruling and have removed the wording in question.”

However company boss James Watt reposted the ad on Twitter and Linkedin and included a rebuke to the advertising watchdog for its “pretty meta” move.

James Watt posted the banned ad on Twitter

His tweet alongside an image of the banned ad read: “The ASA have banned our Instagram advert for saying that we cannot call our seltzer a health drink because we cannot call our seltzer a health drink. Pretty meta. We are also not allowed to tell people it only has 90 calories. Even though it has.”

He later removed it from both sites following a backlash on social media.

Mr Watt recently vowed to “listen, learn and act” after a number of former employees posted a letter on Twitter alleging a culture of fear at the company.

The group, calling themselves Punks with Purpose, claimed the craft beer producer had been built around a “culture of personality” driven by James Watt, above, since it was started in 2007.

Responding on Twitter, Mr Watt said: “We are sorry”.

“We are focussed on building the best business we can, which is why the open letter we saw on Twitter was so upsetting, but so important.

“Our focus now is not on contradicting or contesting the details of that letter but to listen, learn and act.”

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