A BrewDog advert has been banned by the industry watchdog after it branded beer as “one of your five a day” in a marketing email.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the claim was misleading, suggesting that consumers could be confused by the messaging.
The body of the email featured the heading “FEELING FRUITY” in large font above an image of a BrewDog beer can with the text “HAZY JANE GUAVA” written on it.
Smaller text underneath stated, “Summer is well and truly here. Quench your thirst while soaking up the sun (or rain) with our fruit laden favourites. From Pineapple Punch to our limited edition Hazy Jane Passionfruit, we’ve got all your fruit needs covered!”
BrewDog acknowledged that the advertised beers did not count towards a punters ‘five a day’, but said it believed that people would generally understand that alcoholic beverages were not equivalent to portions of fruit or vegetables, and would be taken as a “tongue-in-cheek remark”.
Meanwhile the watchdog said that because many consumers would be aware that some craft beers contained an unusually high amount of fruit, it may lead to confusion as to whether the beers with fruit content counted as a portion under the government’s ‘5 A Day’ advice.
The ASA banned the ad in its current form, and told BrewDog to ensure that any future ads or marketing emails did not misleadingly imply that alcoholic beverages were part of the guidance.
Geraint Lloyd-Taylor, partner at law firm Lewis Silkin, said the ASA decision was a surprising one.
“It seems to me a safe bet that the average consumer in the UK knows that a beer won’t count towards their ‘five a day’ portions of fruit and veg unless they’re very drunk when they’re being asked the question. And no one is going to think a beer is interchangeable with kale and lemongrass smoothie!,” he said.
“I think the ASA should have credited the average British consumer with enough common sense, and a sharp enough sense of humour, to understand they shouldn’t have taken this claim literally.”
A BrewDog spokesperson said: “We respect the ASA’s decision and are happy to confirm that beer is not a fruit or a vegetable. We hope that sorts it out.”