ASA Upholds Complaint Against BrewDog Ad
The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against BrewDog Beer for a print ad and an outdoor poster ad that displayed “F–k You CO2. Brewdog Beer Is Now Carbon Negative” with the dashes obscured by a can of beer. ASA found that the poster ad “had been placed in accordance with guidelines on proximity to schools and religious buildings; that the ad had run during school summer holidays and that one local authority (Newcastle City Council) had been asked and considered the ad acceptable for use.” However, the board found that the ad “was so likely to offend a general audience that such a reference should not appear in media where it was viewable by such an audience. We therefore concluded that the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and was not appropriate for display in untargeted media.”
ASA upheld the complaint as it pertained to an ad in a free newspaper as well but dismissed it in the context of The Economist and The Week, which “had to be actively purchased in a shop or by subscription.”
“We acknowledged that most readers of Metro were adult. We considered that many would accept that the ad was using a play on words to make a statement about environmental issues as part of its marketing message. Nevertheless, as a widely available, free newspaper, the ad was untargeted,” the decision stated.