The regulator said consumers would understand the claim ‘a little bit of alcohol’ to mean that the product was low alcohol when it had an ABV of 5%.
An Instagram post by Brewdog has been banned for making misleading claims over an alcoholic drink.
The post in January for the brand’s Clean & Press Hard Seltzer read: “Due to advertising regulations we cannot claim this drink is healthy,” and continued: “Even though Clean & Press is only 90 calories per can, with no carbs or sugar and a little bit of alcohol, this is not a health drink. If you are looking for a health drink, do not drink Clean & Press.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received five complaints that the ad implied that the drink was healthy and used general health claims that were not permitted for alcoholic drinks.
The ASA also challenged whether the ad used nutrition claims that were not permitted for alcoholic drinks and whether the phrase “a little bit of alcohol” implied that the drink was low alcohol despite the product having an alcoholic strength by volume (ABV) of 5%.
Brewdog said the ad was intended to be “tongue-in-cheek” but accepted that they breached the rules and would not use it again.
The ASA said “only 90 calories per can” and “no carbs or sugar” were nutrition claims that were not permitted for alcoholic drinks, as was the implication that the product was beneficial to overall good health or health-related wellbeing.
The ASA said consumers would understand the claim “a little bit of alcohol” to mean that the product was low alcohol when it had an ABV of 5%, finding that the ad breached the Code on this point also.
It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Brewdog not to make health claims, or non-permitted nutrition claims about alcoholic drinks. We also told them not to make permitted nutrition claims for alcoholic drinks if the product did not meet the associated conditions of use for the claim.”
A Brewdog spokesman said: “We have accepted the ASA ruling and have removed the wording in question.”
In separate rulings, the ASA banned two Instagram posts by Drty Drinks for making misleading nutrition claims for an alcoholic drink and for encouraging excessive drinking and website posts by the High Water and Whisp Drinks firms for making misleading and non-permitted nutrition claims for alcoholic drinks.