The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) intensified its negative stance against crypto-related companies. It warned such entities not to encourage individuals to purchase digital assets with credit cards or swap their pensions for coins like bitcoin.
The ASA’s Latest Warning
The British authorities and financial regulators are known for their harsh stance against the cryptocurrency sector. Bank of England’s Governor Andrew Bailey, for example, argued that digital assets ”have no intrinsic value,” and individuals who invest in them should be ready to lose all their money.
Additionally, Nikhil Rathi – CEO of FCA – claimed that cryptocurrencies are employed in criminal activities. He also proposed that the British government should not compensate individuals investing in the asset class in case of a loss.
The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) is yet another watchdog with a hostile viewpoint on the matter. Today (March 22), it issued an enforcement notice to more than 50 firms that promote digital assets. Apart from setting standards for their operations, the ASA warned those organizations not to encourage individuals to buy cryptocurrencies via credit cards.
“It’s definitely a step up. This is a sector that we recognize needs some work, as the government has recognized, too,” said Nick Hudson – Operations Manager at the ASA.
Earlier this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rishi Sunak – said the government should protect locals from misleading crypto advertisements that could result in major losses. However, the ASA does not believe such legislation will come to life before 2023 and warned that unethical firms will keep promoting their products until then.
“Our role is really important at this time. Advertisers know the FCA regulation is coming down the track. This is a time when they might want to make hay,” Hudson stated.
It is worth noting that the regulator warned not only unknown and dubious cryptocurrency-related companies but also some of the giants in the field, including Coinbase and eToro.
Luno and Floki Inu Banned in the UK
The ASA has already banned some misleading cryptocurrency adverts on British soil. In May last year, numerous slogans emerged on London’s Underground and bus stations stating, “If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.” The regulator identified that the crypto app Luno is behind the marketing initiative, describing the endeavor as highly unethical.
The ASA claimed that those ads could lure inexperienced investors into entering the digital asset ecosystem without realizing the risks in the field. As such, it prohibited Luno’s endorsements.
Several months later, London’s transport infrastructure became marketing ground for another crypto product – this time, it was the memecoin Floki Inu. The city’s authorities argued that such tokens should not be advertised without being thoroughly investigated beforehand.
Transport for London (TfL) added that its stations are not a place where dubious products such as Floki Inu should be promoted. Shortly after, the organization removed the memecoin ads.