BrewDog seems to be on a collision course with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), as promotion winners became rather 'bitter' with their prize.
However, when ten lucky people found the winning gold cans, some were left with a sour taste in their mouth after they discovered that they were not 'solid gold', but gold plated. One winner contacted the can's makers, Thomas Lyte, who said it was actually brass with a 24 carat gold plating. He went on to tell the BBC "I had it valued by a jewellery expert. He told me it was only worth £500. I'm just totally disappointed and I want it resolved. I legally entered a competition to win a solid gold can but I've not got that. I asked for shares to make it up to £15,000 and BrewDog basically said no, so I called the ASA."
A spokesperson for BrewDog said the use of the term "solid gold" was a mistake, but it stood by its £15,000 prize valuation, saying the estimate was made up of more than just the metal used.
Leaving aside the use of "solid gold", which seems to be clearly misleading even if done in error, it does seem reasonable for BrewDog to argue that the value of the cans are not based merely on their constituent parts.
It is arguably a collectors' item or even a 'work of art', and it could be worth much more than £15,000 if someone is willing to pay more to get their hands on it. After all, it would be very odd to say that collectable baseball cards or stamps are only worth the paper and ink from which they are made.
But the burden of proving that the cans are worth £15,000 lies squarely with BrewDog, not the prize winners. BreDog has to convince the ASA the valuation is true and accurate. Given that these special gold-plated cans are so unusual and don't have a usual retail value, the company might need to get creative...
BrewDog will take solace from the fact that the ASA's bark is worse than its bite. Even if the ASA finds there has been a breach of the CAP Code, the ASA can't impose financial penalties. And however much BrewDog has nipped at the ASA's heels over recent years, the ASA is unlikely to refer this particular matter to Trading Standards.
Nevertheless, at some point the ASA could run out of patience if it feels that it can't teach a BrewDog new tricks.
"I had it valued by a jewellery expert. He told me it was only worth £500..."