BrewDog to ignore offensive advert censure

BrewDog, who have a pub in Edinburgh's Cowgate, were censured by the ASA. Picture: Neil Hanna
BrewDog, who have a pub in Edinburgh's Cowgate, were censured by the ASA. Picture: Neil Hanna
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AN ABERDEENSHIRE craft beer company has said that it will repost a controversial and “highly offensive” advert posted on its website after a rebuke from the advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the advert by BrewDog, describing the Ellon-based company as a “post Punk apocalyptic motherfu*ker of a craft brewery” [sic], was likely to cause “serious offence” to some visitors to its website page. A complaint about the advert

According to a ruling, issued today, the advertising watchdog received a single complaint about the advert on the company’s home page.

The advert states: “BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic m**********r 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 t**s. Save up for a Luger, and drill the b******s.”

BrewDog co-founder James Watt said in response: “We actually just took down the statement on our website to make room for the equity for punks (BrewDog’s crowdfunding scheme) stuff. Soon, we will be putting the statement back on our website.

“We believe in freedom of speech and artistic expression. We don’t believe in mindless censorship.

“As for the ASA - those m***********s don’t have any jurisdiction over us anyway.”

The ASA stated: “We noted the asterisk used in ‘m**********r’, but considered its inclusion did not obscure the intended meaning and it was still clear that it represented a swear word, one generally regarded as highly offensive and unlikely to be acceptable in marketing communications.

“We considered that the other language used on the page, such as ‘corporate beer whores,’ ‘rip you straight to the t*ts’ and ‘Save up for a Luger and drill the b******s’, was also likely to cause serious offence to some people.

“Given the general tone of the page, we considered the language used was gratuitous and concluded that the page was likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to the website page.”

The ruling states that the advert breached the advertising code rules on both social responsibility and harm and offence.