BrewDog has been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) by one of the winners of its “solid gold” cans.
The £1.4 billion Scottish brewer had offered 10 customers the chance to find a gold can, which it valued at £15,000, hidden in its cases of beer.
Adam Dean from Shrewsbury in Shropshire complained to the advertising watchdog after finding his prize was worth £500 and mostly made of brass.
“I legally entered a competition to win a solid gold can but I’ve not got that,” he told the BBC.
“I’m just totally disappointed and I want it resolved.”
He added that ASA had requested his emails from BrewDog and will “assess my concerns”.
Mark Craig from Lisburn in Northern Ireland, another disgruntled winner, claimed he had been “let down” by the company.
He bought two cases of beer after being made redundant, hoping to pay for his wedding by selling his prize.
“You saw people claiming that they’d ordered 20 cases to stock up, all on the basis of it being a “solid gold” can,” he told The Guardian.
“I can’t imagine a similar frenzy for a novelty can, which is what it ended up being.”
“We have reached out to Mark privately to apologise for the erroneous use of the phrasing “solid gold” in some of the communications around the competition,” BrewDog said in a statement.
“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.”
The brewer argued the £15,000 valuation was “based on multiple factors”, including the manufacturing price, metal, and quality of the product.
It refused Dean’s request for shares worth £15,000 as compensation, and declined to say whether it would buy the cans back for the advertised price.
“A complainant has challenged whether the claim that the prize was solid gold is misleading as they believe it’s not made from solid gold and rather brass and gold plating,” the ASA said.
“They have also challenged whether another ad is misleading as they understand the can is not worth £15,000.”
The watchdog is now assessing the complaint to decide whether to take action.
It is the second scandal to hit BrewDog in less than a month, after ex-employees accused founder James Watt of allowing “toxic attitudes” to fester at the business.
In an open letter, they alleged that the company’s management “exploited” its “fast-paced” reputation to “treat staff however they liked without repercussions”.
BrewDog has since announced an independent review into its workplace culture.