Regulator halts campaign
BrewDog advert banned after parents complain
The advert outside a school was deemed offensive
A poster advertising BrewDog’s non-alcoholic beer has been banned following complaints from angry parents.
The promotion for the company’s alcohol-free IPA featured the phrase “Sober as a Motherfu” and drew criticism when it was posted outside a primary school.
The Advertising Standards Authority received 26 complaints and ruled the promotion was likely to cause “serious and widespread offence and that it was not appropriate for display in media where it could be seen by children.
BrewDog, which has built a reputation for its maverick marketing campaigns, said the advert contained no profanity. It claimed it was designed to be eye-catching and considered it promoted being sober.
It did not believe the number of complaints received was indicative of ‘widespread’ offence.”
An ASA spokesperson said: “We acknowledged that the word was not displayed in its entirety; however, we considered the word ‘motherf*****’ was clearly being alluded to, and ‘motherfu’ would therefore be understood as a clear reference to that swear word.
“We considered that word 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 concluded the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and that it was not appropriate for display in media where it could be seen by children.”
The ASA ruled the the ad must not appear again in the form that was the subject of concern.
The spokesperson added: “We told BrewDog plc to ensure they avoided causing serious or widespread offence by, for example, avoiding references to expletives in media targeted to a general audience which included children.”