A marketing email for BrewDog, received on 20 July 22, featured the subject heading “One of your five a day”. 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!”. A listing of beers with names that included “Lost in Guava”, “Pineapple Punch” and “Lost in Lychee and Lime” was featured below, and above further text that stated, “HAZY JANE GUAVA On special offer for a limited time only, turn exotic fruits up to 11 for this hazy IPA with a tropical twist”.
The complainant challenged whether the claim “One of your five a day” was misleading.
BrewDog plc acknowledged that the advertised beers did not count towards a consumer’s ‘five a day’. However, they believed that recipients would generally understand that alcoholic beverages were not equivalent to portions of fruit or vegetables. As such, they emphasised that the subject heading was neither intended to be, nor likely to be, interpreted as a factual claim about the beers featured in the body of the email. They highlighted that the email was only sent to existing Brewdog customers who had previously opted-in to receiving their marketing emails. They believed those customers were likely to be aware of BrewDog’s playful marketing style, and, on that basis, felt recipients of the email were even more likely to recognise “One of your five a day” as a tongue-in-cheek remark. They also highlighted that fruity flavours, as well as fruit-inspired product names and ad copy, were common across the craft beer industry. Because of that, they felt many consumers, but particularly existing BrewDog customers, would be familiar with beer manufacturers’ tendency towards describing their beers with reference to fruit, and understand that such comparisons were not made with the intention of implying an equivalence between the two.
Government guidelines recommended people eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day ('5 A Day'). The ASA acknowledged that the subject heading “One of your five a day” might be interpreted by some consumers as a humorous nod to the fruit flavoured beers featured in the body of the email. However, because the claim referred to well-known government advice on health and wellbeing, we considered that, in general, consumers would not expect advertisers to include such claims unless the advertised product was recognised as meeting the requirements of that advice. Further, the claim appeared in the email’s subject heading, which we considered positioned it as a key element of the ad’s message.
We understood that many consumers would be aware that some craft beers contained an unusually high amount of fruit. We considered that, in general, consumers would be uncertain as to whether an alcoholic beverage with fruit content counted as a portion of fruit under the government’s ‘5 A Day’ advice, or whether some of the nutritional benefits of a ‘5 A Day’ portion would be retained. We therefore considered consumers were likely to interpret the claim “One of your five a day” to mean that the fruit flavoured beers in the ad’s body copy counted towards the recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
Because alcoholic drinks did not count towards a person's ‘5 A day’, we concluded that the claim was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told BrewDog plc to ensure that their future ads did not misleadingly imply that alcoholic beverages counted towards the five daily portions of fruit and vegetables recommended by government guidelines.