BrewDog tongue in cheek ad banned over implied health claims

A “tongue in cheek” Instagram ad by BrewDog which said “due to advertising regulations we cannot claim this drink is healthy” has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA received five complaints that the social media post in January implied that the drink was healthy and used general health claims that were not permitted for alcoholic drinks.

They related to BrewDog’s Clean & Press Hard Seltzer brand.

Its ad referred to the drink’s calorie content and said it contained “no carbs or sugar and a little bit of alcohol”, while 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”.

“However, we considered that consumers would understand from the ad that the advertiser was intending to communicate that the product was in fact healthy, but that they were not permitted to inform consumers of that fact,” the watchdog added.

“We considered the ad therefore implied that the drink was beneficial to overall good health or health-related well-being.”

The ASA also took BrewDog to task over nutrition claims – not permitted for alcoholic drinks – and that the ad also implied that the drink was a low alcohol, even though it had a 5% alcohol content.

It said: “We told BrewDog not to make health claims, or non-permitted nutrition claims about alcoholic drinks. We also told them not to make permitted nutrition claims for alcoholic drinks if the product did not meet the associated conditions of use for the claim.”

A BrewDog spokesman said: “We have accepted the ASA ruling and have removed the wording in question.”

The ruling comes after the company recently came under fire over complaints from ex-employees of a toxic culture, prompting founder and chief executive James Watt to pledge an independent review.

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