BrewDog’s "Sober as a motherfu" outdoor campaign has been accused of causing offence and being viewable by children, sparking an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The work for BrewDog’s alcohol-free IPA Punk AF, by Uncommon Creative Studio, launched this week. Its play on words is deliberately provocative but an entirely in-character tone of voice for the brand.
A day after the campaign launched, the ASA received 14 complaints that it was "likely to cause serious or widespread offence", while a further 10 complainants took issue with its outdoor exposure, arguing that it was inappropriate for display in a medium where it could be seen by children.
One Twitter user said she was greeted with the ad near her daughter's primary school. The tweet drew a response from another user, who said he thought the campaign was a "mis-step by @Uncommon_LDN". "Normally love their work, but this grates," he added.
Just arrived outside my daughter’s primary school. Just why pic.twitter.com/pNMKq2y1ET— Catherine (@SydScarborough) November 5, 2019
The media was planned by Craft Media, which used Goodstuff Communications’ G-Force to buy the space.
The ASA told Campaign that it was "currently investigating and will publish our decision in due course". Campaign also contacted BrewDog, Craft Media and Uncommon for comment, but has not heard back at the time of writing.
This is not the first run-in between BrewDog and the ASA over this particular swearword. Back in 2013, the brand hit back at the watchdog following a reprimand over "offensive" ads, saying "those ASA motherf*ckers have no jurisdiction over us".