Brewdog’s CEO claimed that he had distributed about £500,000 to winners of the business’ deceptive “solid gold” beer can promotion.
James Watt said that he made “some costly blunders” in a promotion where participants may hunt for a solid gold can that was tucked away in cases in 2021.
After learning that the cans were gold-plated, some winners questioned their value and voiced their complaints.
Mr. Watt said that he “falsely believed” the cans were made of pure gold.
The co-founder and CEO of the Scottish Brewer claimed that he “misunderstood the process of how they were manufactured” and made a “silly error” by informing customers that the cans were “solid gold cans” in the early promotional tweets.
Three advertisements were deemed misleading by the watchdog in October 2021 after several winners complained to the Advertising Standards Authority.
In a post on LinkedIn on Saturday, Mr. Watt said that the three costly errors he had made were the result of his enthusiasm for the new campaign.
“The Gold Can controversy made headlines. We were given a bad rap online and in the media, making us appear dishonest and deceitful. Justifiably so. My early tweets had been false, thus we deserved to receive criticism “Added he.
Mr. Watt claimed that since it was his fault, he had been in touch with each of the 50 winners of gold cans and offered them the “whole cash amount” as an alternative to the award if they weren’t satisfied.
It ultimately cost me almost £470,000, or more than 2.5 years’ pay, he continued.
The Brewdog CEO mentioned in his post that he now had 40 of the gold cans.
Following an investigation, the ASA reported receiving 25 complaints about three social media advertisements that claimed their can prize was composed of “solid gold.”
In addition to objections over the prize’s veracity, several questioned the can’s value, despite Brewdog’s claim that it was worth £15,000.
According to the ASA, Brewdog told investigators that a single 330ml can would be worth around $500,000 (£363,000) in gold at the time in October 2021 if it were manufactured with the equivalent of 330ml of pure gold.
A general audience, however, was thought to be unlikely to be aware of the price of gold, “how that would convert into the price of a gold can, and whether it was inconsistent with the worth as indicated in the ad,” according to the watchdog.
In his Saturday LinkedIn post, Mr. Watt stated that the “value of £15,000 per can was accurate.”
Brewdog has previously received criticism for both its corporate culture and its marketing tactics.
Former employees “suffered mental illness” as a result of working at the craft beer maker, according to a letter from ex-employees written in June 2021.
It made a number of accusations, including that Brewdog encouraged an environment where employees were reluctant to voice their concerns.
In the past, Mr. Watt expressed regret to former employees and promised that their criticisms would help him become a better chief executive.