The United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority has set a ‘red alert priority’ on multiple companies for crypto and cryptocurrency advertisements. The companies involved were Coinbase Europe, eToro, Luno Money, Exmo Exchange, Payward, Coinburp, and even Papa John’s. The reason for this high-risk alert was that they were “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers.”
The ban was due to the companies improperly portraying the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies. Most of them had their ads banned, while Papa John’s also had a tweet removed that was promoting Luna Exchange. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stated the ads trivialized the serious financial decisions that go into investments with the volatility of crypto and its currencies.
The complaint initially started due to a promotion by Payward for Kraken exchange. The ad was seen in London Bridge station and although it had a lengthy disclaimer, the ASA claimed the viewer would not have time to comprehend such disclaimer, or might not read it at all. Despite this ‘red alert priority’ there are still many cryptocurrency advertisements in UK buses and tubes.
Many politicians have raised concerns over these ads, especially ones that have been posted for Floki, a cryptocurrency meme coin named after the famous Dogecoin. These advertising bans are said to be the beginning of a change of guidance for all crypto asset ads to come. The ASA has said they will continue to monitor existing and new ads released for crypto assets including NFTs, exchanges, and other cryptocurrency assets.
Cryptocurrency ads are a way to get new investors into the space but many political leaders believe it should be done in a way that protects new investors with little knowledge of crypto assets. This belief is shared by many around the world and cryptocurrency ads have been banned by several different platforms before.
Google and Facebook had once banned cryptocurrency ads, but have now removed such restrictions. We will have to wait and see what the UK government does going forward. Potentially a larger disclaimer might be needed to allow crypto ads to exist.
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