The UK Financial Conduct Authority has warned Love Island Gale twins from posting irresponsible cryptocurrency investment ads. Eve and Jessica Gale, reality TV show stars and social media influencers who have a combined following on Instagram of more than 1.7 million accounts, posted Instagram stories promoting a crypto investment scheme. The advertising regulator called them out for trivializing investment in cryptocurrency.
The ASA upheld claims that the ad was misleading and irresponsible. It said an influencer named Elizabeth O’Donell was providing trading crypto advice, and promoting investing in cryptocurrencies without illustrating the possible risks. As such, the agency considered the ads were addressed to a general audience who were unlikely to have any specialist knowledge of investment in crypto assets.
It considered that consumers would interpret the overall impression from the ads to mean that investment in crypto assets was simple and risk-free, even to those consumers who had only limited knowledge of it. The ASA highlighted that the ads were not prepared with a sense of responsibility, violating the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales, Promotion, and Direct Marketing. Moreover, the agency said that Gales’ story did not mention the possibility crypto prices could go down as well as up, as well as their largely unrelated status in the United Kingdom. The ASA alleged that O’Donell and the Gale twins took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity by not including information on capital gains taxes required to be paid on crypto profits.
The agency ruled that the social media influencers could not post the crypto ads in the form complained about again. However, the ASA did not bar the twins from promoting digital assets in future advertisements on social media.