BrewDog rapped by ASA over 'offensive' website claims

BrewDog: no longer able to describe itself in its current form
BrewDog: no longer able to describe itself in its current form

BrewDog, the controversial self-styled "punk" brewer, has landed itself in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming to be a "mother fu*ker of a craft brewery".

The publicity hungry Scottish brewer’s website stated: "BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery. Say goodbye to the corporate beer whores crazy for power and world domination ... Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Save up for a Luger, and drill the bastards."

The ASA received one complaint about the site challenging whether the language was likely to cause serious offence. The ad watchdog upheld the complaint, noting that despite the use of the asterisk in "mother fu*ker", its inclusion did not obscure the intended meaning.

"It was still clear that it represented a swear word, one generally regarded as highly offensive and unlikely to be acceptable in marketing communications," said the regulator.

According to the ASA, the other language used on the site was "also likely to cause serious offence to some people". Therefore, it was in breach of the CAP code on social responsibility and harm and offence.

The ASA ruled that the site could not appear in its current form and warned BrewDog to avoid causing offence in the future.

While BrewDog has removed the claim from its website, the ASA said the brewer "did not provide a substantive response to our enquiries".

This is not the first run-in BrewDog has had with marketing regulators. Four years ago, the brewer traded blows with the Portman Group over its "Speedball" ale. The Portman Group claimed that the name had associations with illegal drugs, a charge that was strongly rejected by BrewDog.

(Click image to enlarge)

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer