The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned seven examples of cryptocurrency marketing, after proactively monitoring the crypto craze sweeping the world.
The examples include a Twitter post by pizza delivery brand Papa John’s that offered “free Bitcoin” in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Luno. It was deemed to be irresponsibly trivialising investment in cryptocurrency and taking advantage of consumers’ lack of experience.
Luno’s marketing has already fallen foul of the ASA. In July, its out-of-home campaign featuring the tagline “If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy” was banned.
The ASA’s other bans covered specialist companies such as cryptocurrency exchange Coinburp, which was reprimanded over its Twitter bio for irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ lack of experience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment.
Banned for the same reason were a digital poster for online cryptocurrency exchange, Payward, a YouTube video for Exmo Exchange, an in-app ad for Luno Money, a paid-for Facebook ad for Coinbase Europe and a paid-for display ad for eToro.
The ASA said it will continue to review cryptoasset ads over the next few months.
It has clarified that it will police not only cryptocurrencies but also non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and fan tokens, which will feed in to its future enforcement work and guidance.
On the seven rulings, Miles Lockwood, director of complaints and investigations, said: “Cryptoassets are a red-alert priority issue for us, so we’re conducting proactive monitoring and interventions where we find issues.
“Our rulings published today (15 December) and over the next few weeks will shape follow-up enforcement work in the new year to bring all cryptoassets ads into line with our expectations and will form the basis of updated guidance.”
Last month the ASA labelled crypto-asset advertising a “priority issue”, with a spokesperson stating: “in all this, there is a clear separation between ads for legal crypto investments and illegitimate scam ads.
“On the latter, we are already taking action where we can to disrupt online scams through our Scam Ad Alert system.”
The Scam Ad Alert system was launched in June to help tackle fraudulent advertising on online platforms and social media.
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