Four months ago, I wrote about a BrewDog promotion, during which BrewDog described its gold-plated brass cans as 'gold'.  You can find that article here.  

A third of a year later, the ASA has published its ruling, upholding the complaints against BrewDog.

It's probably not surprising that the complaints were upheld, but what is surprising is that this took so long.

This wasn't a complex matter, so it isn't clear what caused this to drag on for so long.

As a general observation it can be frustrating for advertisers to be given a very short window to organise and put together their detailed response to the ASA. Usually they are given a deadline of just one week to speak to all relevant stakeholders (who could be based all around the world), consider their position, speak to their advisers, prepare, finalise and get internal sign off on their response. Sometimes, the ASA may grant a short extension (in its discretion) of a week or so if it considers it appropriate.

Then the ASA can proceed at its own unpredictable pace - sometimes taking only a couple of weeks to resolve seemingly quite contentious issues, sometimes taking a few months or more even with relatively straightforward cases (such as this one), while advertisers are left without much indication of how it will go or how long it will take, all while trying to decide on their future marketing plans.

I don't mean to pile on the ASA here because I think it does a good and unenviable job processing a high volume of complaints and investigations, usually in a very sensible and pragmatic way; but perhaps there are improvements that can be made in terms of timeframes and transparency to help advertisers/marketers to manage their future plans.

You can find the ruling against this BrewDog campaign here.