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By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 19, 2023 | 3 min read

The divisive brewery won’t let a £500,000 fine deter it, the infamous ‘gold’ cans make a return. However, with a disclaimer this time.

In Ready10’s first brand activity for BrewDog, the craft brewer has paid homage to one of the brand's biggest backfires, its campaign to offer drinkers gold Brewdog cans.

The promotion saw short-changed winners demand more costly cans, solid gold, not gold-plated. The UK ad regulator agreed with the winners, based on the wording of the promotion. In return CEO James Watt stumped up almost half a million pounds of his own money to make good.

BrewDog has resurrected the campaign with a much clearer set of conditions, “promising a prize that is definitely, in absolutely no way, real solid gold.” Instead, winners will get £5,000 and a gold-plated memento. (The plated bit is important). It’s going to get more media mileage out of Watt’s costly investment.

BrewDog's latest gold can

This is actually the third time such a campaign has run, it was the second one in 2021 that irked regulators and winners. Wonka-style limited edition cans can be found in supermarket packs. But the beer firm will also be providing the chance to win ‘Gold Pints’, plus many other prizes in BrewDog bars, via scratch cards for those spending £10 or more. Orders placed on the BrewDog website will also offer the chance to bag the same prize.

James Watt, co-founder and CEO of BrewDog, said: “Given that our previous gold can competitions were such plain sailing, it was the logical next step to do it all over again. That, and the fact that we had too many of these cans taking up space in the office.

“This time around, though, I’m keen to avoid forking out another half a million quid, so I’ll say it loud for the people at the back: these cans are gold-plated, not solid gold! I hope that’s crystal clear. Disclaimer: there are no crystals available in these cans either.”

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