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UK’s ad regulator bans 2 promos for being ‘misleading’ and ‘irresponsible’

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • The UK’s advertising watchdog has banned two promos for misleading consumers.
  • The regulator said these were “irresponsible and took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity.”
  • responded to each of the claims and noted that the ads had been “removed voluntarily” upon learning of the regulator’s concerns. 
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The UK’s advertising watchdog has banned two promos Wednesday for misleading consumers.

The first ad, published in September 2021 in the Daily Mail app, said: “Buy bitcoin with credit card instantly.” The second ad, posted in July 2021 in the Love Balls app, stated: “Earn up to 3.5% p.a.,” though the rate on the fine print increased to 8.5%.

The Advertising Standards Authority determined both ads were “misleading because they failed to illustrate the risk of the investment” as well as “irresponsible and took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity.”

The regulator noted that the first ad did not make it clear to consumers that purchasing crypto using credit cards has some limitations. The second ad, meanwhile, did not elaborate on the basis for calculating the earnings forecast, the ASA said. responded to each of the claims presented by the ASA and noted that the ads had been “removed voluntarily” upon learning of the regulator’s concerns. 

“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,” a spokesperson said in an email to Insider.

The Singapore crypto platform defended its first ad, saying it was promoting the speed with which users could buy crypto on their platform.

As for the second ad, said it was referring to the yield crypto holders can generate yield, not the crypto itself. The platform explained that existing customers would be aware of the risks that come with crypto investing.

Government authorities worldwide stepped up their enforcement of the space in 2021 as crypto ballooned at one point in the year to a $3 trillion industry.  

In December, ASA had banned ads for soccer club Arsenal’s fan token, calling the ads “irresponsible” in failing to highlight risks associated with crypto. On December 15, the regulator also challenged six crypto-related firms for their alleged ad violations, including Coinbase, Kraken, and eToro.

A campaign from last year included an ad blitz starring actor Matt Damon in October. Meanwhile in November, the company bought the naming rights to the iconic Staples Center in LA, which will be the Arena for the next two decades.

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