Brewdog hard seltzer Instagram ad banned for misleading health claims

7 July 2021, 09:38

Brewdog's hard seltzer ad was banned over 'misleading health claims'
Brewdog's hard seltzer ad was banned over 'misleading health claims'. Picture: Brewdog

By Emma Clarke

Brewdog's "tongue-in-cheek" Instagram advert for its Clean & Press line of hard seltzer drinks has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after it received several complaints about the campaign in January this year.

The ad copy read: "Due to advertising regulations we cannot claim this drink is healthy" and went on to discuss the calorie content, claiming it had "no carbs or sugar and a little bit of alcohol".

It also added: "This is not a health drink. If you are looking for a health drink, do not drink Clean & Press."

While the ASA has acknowledged the playful tone in which the information in the ad was presented, the watchdog also stated: "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.

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

Adverts for alcohol products are not permitted to make nutritional claims, and the ASA also took issue with the implication that the drink contains low alcohol content - even when it contains 5%.

"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 spokesperson for Brewdog said of the decision: "We have accepted the ASA ruling and have removed the wording in question."

The drinks company, founded by James Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007, was also reported to the ASA last week for a competition it ran, offering 10 people the chance to find a gold can hidden in a case of beer.

Several of the winners then disputed Brewdog's claim that the prize was "solid gold" and worth £15,000, when discovering the cans were gold-plated.

The ASA is currently looking into whether or not the competition breaches any of its rules.