ASA statement on crypto-assets

Nov 23rd '21

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is aware that people are concerned about crypto-asset advertising – particularly regarding cryptocurrencies and ‘non-fungible tokens’ (NFTs). This is a ‘red alert’ priority issue for them and the ASA are taking action.


Crypto-assets have exploded in popularity in recent years, but there’s a real danger that people may be drawn in to invest life savings that they later lose based on poor understanding. The ASA recognise the important role they play in regulating ads to ensure they don’t mislead consumers about a product’s risks or act irresponsibly in their promotion.


To that end, the ASA are currently investigating a number of crypto-asset ads across different media, where they have concerns about:


  • lack of appropriate risk warnings
  • the trivialisation of investments in cryptocurrency
  • ads taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience or incredulity
  • irresponsible advertising (for example, creating a sense of urgency to invest).


The ASA will be providing clarity around expectations of crypto-asset advertising through these rulings, which they expect to publish in mid-December. The Advertising watchdog will then carry out proactive monitoring and enforcement to tackle non-compliant ads for crypto-assets.


In all of this, there is a clear separation between ads for legal crypto investments and illegitimate scam ads. On the latter, the ASA are already taking action where they can to disrupt online scams through the Scam Ad Alert system. This was set up in partnership with the major digital advertising and social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, to help tackle bogus ads that leave consumers out of pocket, specifically online paid-for ads linking to fraudulent content, particularly crypto investment.


The ASA will continue to review their policies around crypto-asset advertising and make sure that their rules are always protecting consumers.


If you have concerns about any crypto-asset ads you’ve seen, let them know by using the ASA complaint form.


Source: ASA


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