A ruling published today by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) shows how important it is to check your advertising copy before it is published.
BrewDog ran two separate prize promotions (publicised on Twitter and Facebook) in which they advertised the opportunity to win “solid gold” cans of Punk IPA and Hazy Jane respectively. The cans in question were in fact gold-plated and the references to “solid gold” were made in error. Although BrewDog realised the mistake and deleted mention of “solid gold” from subsequent Tweets and other social media, they were unable to amend the initial Tweets and decided not to delete them.
The ASA ruled that the BrewDog had breached the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code because the adverts were misleading and caused unnecessary disappointment. BrewDog must not publish the adverts again in the form of the initial Tweets and have been told by the ASA to conduct their promotions equitably and fairly and to avoid causing unnecessary disappointment.
The BrewDog ruling demonstrates how a simple oversight can result in wasted management time and a lot of adverse publicity so check, check and check again!
In its ruling, the watchdog said it "understood the prize consisted of 24 carat gold-plated replica cans", but added "because the ads stated that the prize included a solid gold can when that was not the case, we concluded the ads were misleading".