Brewdog’s ‘solid gold’ beer can competition ruled as misleading

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld 25 complaints from customers over the 'misleading' promotion.

Brewdog’s ‘solid gold’ beer can competition ruled as misleading Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
Brewdog: Ellon-based brewery launched a 'solid gold' beer can competition in 2020.

A Brewdog competition which claimed customers could win “solid gold” beer cans was misleading, a watchdog has said. 

The Ellon-based brewer launched the promotion in 2020, which initially stated customers could find one of ten gold cans hidden in packs of beer purchased from its online store. 

In social media posts published in February 2021, the company claimed there were five gold wrapped cans to be found, which could be swapped for a “solid gold, 24-carat” beer can.

However it was revealed the cans were actually gold plated and worth significantly less than a “solid gold” version, which would be worth $500,000 at the current gold price. 

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Brewdog said the “solid gold” claim was an error due to a “miscommunication” between its marketing and social media teams.

The company stated the prize was worth £15,000 and stood by the evaluation, adding that it “could not see that any reasonable consumer who entered the competition would assume they were going to win over half a million dollars of gold”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld 25 complaints over the competition, ruling three adverts were misleading.

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.”

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The ASA added: “We told BrewDog plc not to state or imply that consumers would receive a solid gold can when that was not the case.”

On Wednesday, Brewdog said the company had “messed up” over the promotion and added it would offer all the winners from the first round of the contest the cash equivalent of the gold cans. 

It has also now launched a new gold can competition where customers can win a “diamond encrusted gold plated can” or a £25,000 cash equivalent. 

The company added “clear T&C’s” would be provided to customers.