How did this happen?
It all started with a promise. A promise that you can strike it big if you buy beer. LOTS OF IT. Brewdog announced last year around November that if you commit to buying a truckload of 12 packs you can earn $15,000 in the form of 10 solid gold beer cans. On top of that, they also said that people will get an extra $10,000 in stocks if they snagged that mythical gold can.
If that was not enough, the lucky ones were also promised a VIP tour of the Brewery as the cherry on top. However, as all good children know, they are definitely scamming you if it sounds too good to be true.
What did they do?
Not much except false advertisement. A simple case of hyping something up to be more valuable than it is. Remember the cans valued at $15,000 being snuck in the 12 packs? Well, it is a bit anti-climatic but they turned out to be worth just $500.
How did it come to light?
Contrary to the idealistic expectation of the company execs who thought people were going to make this a family heirloom. Many people bought into this ad campaign expecting to make a hefty profit. After all, everybody loves the prospect of making a handsome profit..
But, as they say, the house always wins when you are gambling and that turned out to be the case here. One of the winners found it the hard way as he narrated his story to the BBC.
One of the winners, Adam Dean, told the BBC: “I realized I had won after I treated myself to a can after having mowed the lawn and spotted something glistening away in the case.
“It said on the can ‘you’ve won a £15k 24 carat gold Hazy Jane can’. Once I’d got over the shock I wanted to cover it on my house insurance. I got in touch with the can’s makers, Thomas Lyte, who told me it was actually brass with a 24-carat gold plating.
“I had it valued by a jewelry expert. He told me it was only worth £500. I’m very 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.”
No, you did not read it wrong. Brewdog backtracked on every single promise they made. Therefore, it is no surprise that Mr. Dean is now trying to get the ASA to investigate the Brewery.
What about the other winners?
Mark Craig, another winner of this sweepstake from Northern Ireland was also left disappointed. He discovered that the can was actually made of gold-plated brass after he went to get a valuation for the same.
He told the BBC: “If you’re told something is worth £15,000, that’s what you would hope you had sitting on your mantelpiece. I bought two cases online in my attempt to win.
“The past 18 months have been tough for everyone. I myself was made redundant and had plenty of need of extra cash. I wanted to sell the can and contacted Brewdog for any certification they had.
“The certificate they sent said it was gold-plated but they promoted it as solid gold. When I contacted them they told me the ‘solid gold’ claim was an error.
“It’s not just me that’s been let down. Lots of people have lost out on this. Buying extra beer – and buying it online from them directly handing them a higher share of the profits.”
While one may argue that spending all your hard-earned money on a truckload of beer is not the most financially sound decision. I must agree with Mr, Craig that peddling false hope after the events of last year is not the best thing to do right now.
What did Brewdog have to say?
Brewdog chose to share this carefully crafted lawyer-speak.
“We have reached out to Mark in private to apologize for the erroneous use of the phrasing ‘solid gold’ in some of the communications around the competition.
Once the error was flagged by our internal teams, we immediately removed or changed all such mentions.”This error may have informed his complaint regarding the value of the can. Importantly, the phrasing in question was never included in the detailed terms and conditions of the competition, nor in the wording informing the lucky winners of their prize.
“The company said the £15,000 value was “reasonable based on multiple factors”, including the manufacturing price, metal, and quality of the product. Brewdog added that the cans were collectible items, with the value “somewhat detached from the cost of materials”.
Sure, we all know it was an honest mistake, am I right?!
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