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Banned Cryptocurrency Ads Under ‘Red Alert’ Focus On Consumer Concerns


Cryptocurrency ads for seven platforms and retailers have been banned due to “red alert” concerns about consumer awareness of “complex and volatile” products.

Ads for trading platforms eToro and Coinburp have been banned for irresponsibly taking advantage of consumer inexperience and failing to illustrate the risk of investing, as have ads for crypto exchange companies. -Payward currency, Exmo Exchange, Luno Money and Coinbase Europe.

A promotion of the pizza chain Papa John’s website and a Twitter post promoting the cryptocurrency were banned for the same reasons.

The Papa John’s website ad, seen in May, read ‘Free Bitcoin worth £ 10’ and ‘Save £ 15 when you spend £ 30 or more and get £ 10 of Bitcoin from Luno! “

A tweet on Papa John’s Twitter page, posted on May 14, stated: “We have partnered with @LunoGlobal to offer FREE Bitcoin worth £ 10 for every pizza purchased through our” £ 15 off when you spend £ 30 “” and “Convert pizza into £ 10 Bitcoin.

Papa John’s ad banned by ASA (ASA / PA)

Papa John’s said they had a long-standing association with the cryptocurrency, dating back to May 2010, when Bitcoin was believed to have been first used to purchase two Papa John’s pizzas.

The chain acknowledged that some customers would have more knowledge of the cryptocurrency than others but, due to their historical connection to Bitcoin, they believed their partnership with Luno would not be considered unusual and the collaboration on its own. did not comment on the cryptocurrency or its suitability. for investment.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority said that using pizza to promote a cryptocurrency account encourages consumers to engage in high-risk investment without consideration and trivializes what is a serious and potentially costly financial decision. , especially in the context of the target audience who were likely to have limited knowledge of cryptocurrency.

The ASA said the seven bans follow proactive monitoring of cryptoassets ads and are part of a larger project that will eventually shape specific guidelines for advertising these products in 2022.

The ASA said it will continue to review cryptoasset announcements over the next few months not only for cryptocurrencies, but also for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and fan tokens, which would help future application and advice from advertisers.

ASA Director of Complaints and Investigations Miles Lockwood said, “Cryptoassets are a priority red alert issue for us, so we conduct proactive monitoring and response when we find issues.

“Our decisions released today and over the next few weeks will shape the app’s monitoring work over the new year to bring all crypto-asset announcements into line with our expectations and will form the basis of updated guidelines.” day.

“Consumers need to be aware of the risks of investing in crypto assets and companies need to ensure that their advertisements are not misleading or socially irresponsible by taking advantage of the lack of consumer awareness of these complex and volatile products.

“We will not hesitate to take action against advertisements that violate our rules. We encourage anyone with concerns about the advertisements they have seen to contact us.