On 23 November 2021, the ASA, the UK's independent advertising regulator, announced that it is investigating #crypto-asset ads.
The ASA is aware that people are concerned about crypto-asset advertising – particularly regarding cryptocurrencies and 'non-fungible tokens' (NFTs). It states that this is a ‘red alert’ priority issue.
The ASA is currently investigating a number of crypto-asset ads across different media, where it has identified concerns regarding:
- the 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 confirms that it will provide more clarity around its expectations when it comes to crypto-asset advertising through rulings which it intends to publish in mid-December.
The ASA will then carry out proactive monitoring and enforcement to tackle non-compliant ads for crypto-assets.
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. We recognise the important role we play in regulating ads to ensure they don’t mislead consumers about a product’s risks or act irresponsibly in their promotion.