HomeUK’s ASA takes down another batch of crypto company advertisements

UK’s ASA takes down another batch of crypto company advertisements

Harshini Nag

The ASA explained that promotional materials must make it clear that past performance wasn’t a guide for future behaviour of assets

United Kingdom’s independent advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) undertook another crackdown on crypto-related promotion campaigns in the country, forcing several major industry firms to take down their advertisements.

Seven promotional materials were banned as irresponsible by the advertising watchdog, stating that the ads took advantage of consumer inexperience and failed to adequately illustrate the risk of investing in digital assets.

Popular cryptocurrency firms including Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, Exmo, crypto exchange Luno and crypto broker Coinburp were on the receiving end of the ad violation ruling by the ASA. Similar rulings were also issued against multinational pizza chain Papa John’s by the regulatory authority.

The ASA particularly spoke out against a paid Facebook ad published by Coinbase in July 2021, calling it a “misleading promotion”. The ad’s text stated that “five pounds in Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth over 100,000 pounds in January 2021”. 

ASA argued that the ad implied that there would be a similar guaranteed increase in Bitcoin’s value over the next decade. The promotional material by Coinbase Europe “did not make clear that past performance was not necessarily a guide for the future,” the ASA explained.  

Kraken operator Payward was under fire for its digital poster put out in August 2021 at the Lindon Bridge Station. ASA pointed out that the risk disclaimer on the promotional material wasn’t adequate as it displayed the disclaimer only for a very short time:

“The risk warning only ran for one second at the beginning of a 20-second ad and we considered it presented the consumer with a large amount of information that would not be fully read or understood even if it was seen at all.”  

The ASA has issued several similar rulings against crypto promotional campaigns that has been considered misleading in the past year. Advertisements by Coinfloor and Luno have previously been shut down as part of the crackdown efforts by the ASA.   

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