Brewdog’s ‘F**k You CO2’ ad labelled ‘offensive’ and ‘inappropriate’ by the Advertising Standards Authority

BrewDog beer claims to take twice as much carbon out of the air as it emits, making it carbon negative. Uncommon Creative Studio encouraged the brewer — previously better-known for being outrageous, minus the conscience — to publicise this fact with a controversial poster and press campaign that exclaimed, “F**k You, CO2.”

Bad language will always get attention, and the climate crisis needs attention, so the ad gets its point across, but it was never going to do that without causing offence.

BrewDog’s posters went up in August, outside of the school holidays, but the ASA didn’t think that was enough of an excuse to avoid a ban, albeit three months later, once the complaints had been through due process.

The offensive word was never spelt out in full, and BrewDog has been given the all clear to keep running it in places like the Economist and The Week, but has been told not to run it on posters or in freesheet Metro again, where it can be seen by a wider and less targeted audience.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.