An ‘offensive’ ad for a non-alcoholic beer which was posted outside a primary school has been banned.
Theplug for BrewDog’s alcohol free IPA featured the phrase “SOBER AS A MOTHERFU”.
Furious parents complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after children saw the ad.
Bosses at the advertising watchdog said they received 26 complaints, 16 of which slammed it being placed by a school. The school’s location has not been revealed.
According to the watchdog the ad caused “serious and widespread offence” and “was not appropriate” to be displayed near kids.
BrewDog said the campaign, which began on October 21, was scheduled to run for two weeks across 44 poster sites.
The brewery said the ad was not designed to cause offence and was promoting being sober.
BrewDog said: “The ad was designed to be eye-catching and considered it promoted being sober. BrewDog did not believe the number of complaints received was indicative of ‘widespread’ offence.”
They claimed no profanity was used and so any offence caused could not be construed as “serious”.
But bosses at the watchdog disagreed, saying the phrase MOTHERFU” was a truncated version of the expletive ‘motherfucker’.
An ASA spokesperson said:”We acknowledged that the word was not displayed in its entirety; however, we considered the word ‘motherfucker’ was clearly being alluded to, and “motherfu” would therefore be understood as a clear reference to that swear word.
“We considered that word was so likely to offend a general audience that such a reference should not appear in media where it was viewable by such an audience.
“We concluded the ad was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and that it was not appropriate for display in media where it could be seen by children.”
The ASA ruled the the ad must not appear again in the form that was the subject of concern.
The spokesperson added: “We told BrewDog plc to ensure they avoided causing serious or widespread offence by, for example, avoiding references to expletives in media targeted to a general audience which included children.”