UK advertiser ASA continues crypto ad banning spree

The
United
Kingdom’s
Advertising
Standards
Authority,
or
ASA,
has
approved
an
official
ban
on
two
mobile
application
advertisements
from
popular
trading
platform
Crypto.com
that
promoted
the
ease
of
purchasing
cryptocurrencies,
such
as
Bitcoin,
as
well
as
earning
yield
rewards
on
digital
assets.

Gaining
notoriety
within
the
industry
for
their
strict
legislation
on
the
proposed
implications
of
a
cryptocurrency
advert,
the
ASA
flagged
the
marketing
material
for
breach
of
a
number
of
financial
watchdog
rules,
including
not
effectively
stating
the
risk
potential
of
the
investment,
abusing
consumers’
lack
of
market
understanding
and
not
specifying
the
limitations
of
purchasing
crypto
with
credit
cards.

Crypto.com
removed
the
advert
voluntarily
once
the
concern
was
raised,
but
debated
the
nuances
of
the
advertisements
with
the
regulator,
stating
that
the
intention
of
the
inaugural
advert

published
on
the
Love
Ball
app
on
July
30,
2021

was
that
users
could
“earn
up
to
8.5%
p.a.”
through
yield
investments,
not
specific
crypto
assets.

Likewise,
according
to
Crypto.com’s
written
response,
the
subsequent
advert,
published
in
the
Daily
Mail
newspaper
app
on
Sept.
1,
intended
to
showcase
the
speedy
process
of
purchasing
crypto
assets
on
their
platform

“Buy
Bitcoin
with
credit
card
instantly”

as
opposed
to
directly
advising
consumers
to
engage
in
trading
activities.



Related:

UK
advertising
watchdog
bans
crypto
ads
for
Coinbase
and
Kraken

Crypto.com’s
marketing
forays
in
the
United
States have
propelled
its
brand
recognition
to
a
mainstream
audience.
The Matt
Damon
TV
commercial
,
the
purchase
of
a
$700
million
twenty-year
lease
on
the
naming
rights
for
the
historic
Staples
Center,

now
known
as
the
Crypto.com
Arena
,
as
well
as
the
launch
of nonfungible
tokens,
or
NFTs,
in

partnership
with
the
UFC
,
have
all
expanded
the
platform’s
ambitions.

Cointelegraph
spoke
to
a
representative
at
Crypto.com
to
discuss
its
assurances
it
would
go
“above
and
beyond”
the
regulator’s
prerequisites
on
matters
of
financial compliance,
stating:

“We
believe
building
a
fully
regulated
industry
is
the
best
way
to
accelerate
the
world’s
transition
to
cryptocurrency,
which
has
long
been
our
mission.
Engaging
regulators
to
ensure
compliance
and
building
trust
remain
Crypto.com’s
highest
priorities.”

Concluding
their
assessment,
the
ASA
advised
Crypto.com
that
future
marketing
material
of
such
kind
must
make
it
“sufficiently
clear
that
the
value
of
investments
in
cryptocurrency
was
variable
and
could
go
down
as
well
as
up
and
that
cryptocurrency
was
unregulated.”

Alongside
this,
that
the
material
does
not
“irresponsibly
take
advantage
of
consumers’
lack
of
experience
or
credulity
by
irresponsibly
encouraging
investing
in
cryptocurrency
using
a
credit
card,”
as
well
as
that
“using
a
credit
card
could
be
subject
to
higher
interest
rates,
extra
fees
and
that
some
credit
card
issuers
prohibit
the
buying
of
cryptocurrency.”

Later
in
our
discussion,
Crypto.com
outlined
their
intentions
to
work
alongside
the
ASA’s
guidelines
and
policies
when
creating
and
proposing
new
marketing
campaigns
for
their
UK
audience,
noting:

“We
appreciate
the
collaborative
dialogue
and
engagement
from
the
ASA
regarding
advertising
in
the
UK
in
this
relatively
new
industry,
and
remain
committed
to
working
with
them
and
regulators
around
the
world
to
ensure
all
of
our
activities
are
compliant
with
the
most
recent
regulatory
guidelines.”

In
the
month
of
December
2021,
the
ASA
flagged
a
number
of
crypto-related
firms
for
violating
advertising
rules
in
their
marketing
campaigns.

On
Dec
15,
the
ASA

flagged
marketing
campaigns
from
Coinbase,
Kraken
and
eToro
,
among
others,
for
misleading
investment
material.
On
Dec.
22,

accused
Arsenal
FC
and
blockchain
firm
Chiliz

of
“taking
advantage
of
consumers
inexperience
in
crypto
assets”
in
the
issuance
and
subsequent
promotion
of
the
club’s
fan
token,
AFC.

Earlier
that
month,
Members
of
Parliament,
or
MPs,
at
the
Treasury
Select
Committee
implored
the
nation’s
overarching
financial
body,
the
FCA,
that
investments
within
the
cryptocurrency
market

should
not
be
compared
to
traditional
investments
,
and
that
they
could
be
utilized
by
criminals
seeking
to
launder
money.

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