UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned seven cryptocurrency ads for breaking rules. The ads were banned for irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience. The ASA said the ads failed to illustrate the risk of the investment.
The companies whose ads were banned were:
1. eToro (UK): a paid-for display ad for eToro
2. Exmo Exchange: a YouTube video promoting cryptocurrency exchange Exmo
3. Coinbase Europe: a paid-for Facebook ad for Coinbase
4. Coinburp: a Twitter page for Coinburp
5. Luno Money: an in-app ad for Luno
6. Papa John’s GB: promotion on the Papa John’s pizza restaurant chain’s online portal and Twitter post
7. Payward: a digital poster for Kraken
Miles Lockwood, ASA’s director of complaints and investigations, said crypto assets are a red-alert priority issue for the organization. “Consumers need to know about the risks of investing in crypto-assets and companies should make sure that their ads aren’t misleading or socially irresponsible by taking advantage of consumers’ lack of awareness around these complex and volatile products,” he said.
The advertising watchdog expects its rulings to shape follow-up enforcement work in the new year. “This will bring all crypto assets ads into line with our expectations and will form the basis of updated guidance,” it said. “We won’t hesitate to take action against ads that break our rules. We encourage anyone with any concern about ads they have seen to get in touch.” Lockwood said ASA will continue to review crypto-asset ads over the next few months. This also includes NFTs and fan tokens.
Elizabeth Rayment, director at Your Mind Media, attributes the crypto-related ads ban to regulators trying to set up some uniform rules around the crypto industry. She acknowledged that cryptocurrencies have gained significant popularity but are still unknown to many consumers.
“The understanding of cryptocurrencies, their financial impact and the risk they involve remain limited among the general public, and as such, advertising to them can be seen as concerning,” Rayment explained.