UK’s ASA bans Brewdog’s Instagram ad over misleading health claims

UK’s ASA bans Brewdog’s Instagram ad over misleading health claims

by Pranali Mehta

UK’s advertising watchdog, Advertising Standard Authority, has reportedly announced that it has banned an Instagram advertisement by Brewdog, a multinational brewery business from Scotland, over misleading health claims.

Brewdog, the rapidly expanding Scottish brewer and pub business, was established in 2007 by Martin Dickie and James Watt and now employs 2,000 people. However, it has sparked debate with its marketing and business actions.

According to reports, Brewdog, in an Instagram post for its seltzer had stated, that ‘because of advertising regulations, it cannot claim that its drink is healthy’, yet it continued on to refer to the product’s low-calorie claim.

In response to ASA’s objection to this ad, the brewer claimed that the post was just a tongue in cheek way to advertise its product. However, it agreed that it would not use this ad again.

A spokesperson from Brewdog stated that the company has accepted the ASA's judgment and deleted the problematic language.

The drink's calorie content was mentioned in the advertisement, which also stated that there are no carbohydrates or sugar in it. The ad further mentioned that the beverage contains a little bit of alcohol and termed it as ‘not a healthy drink’, urging consumers to not buy their product if they are searching for a healthy beverage.

The ASA challenged whether the ad made nutrition claims that were not permitted for alcoholic beverages. Additionally, the watchdog also took objection to the phrase ‘a little bit of alcohol’ as it implied that the beverage is a low alcohol drink, despite the fact that it has an ABV of 5%.

According to ASA, nutrition statements such as just '90 calories per can' and 'no carbohydrates or sugar' were not authorized for alcoholic beverages, as was the suggestion that the drink was beneficial for overall health-related wellbeing or good health.

Meanwhile, in separate rulings, the watchdog also banned two Instagram posts, made by Brewdog's rival Drty Drinks for making factually inaccurate nutrition claims and promoting heavy drinking, and website posts, made by High Water and Whisp Drinks over misleading and non-permitted nutrition claims for alcoholic beverages.

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Pranali Mehta

A chemical engineer by qualification, Pranali Mehta dutifully walked down the slated path and worked in a chemical firm for a year. Her passion for writing however, pushed her into experimenting with the same as a career. With over three years of experience in content writ Read more...