400+ Crypto Advertisements in India Break the Rules — Some influencers discuss cryptocurrency without being familiar with it.

Photo Credit: Westend61 GmbH

According to reports, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has found that more than 400 cryptocurrency advertisements have so far this year violated its rules. Influencers are the target of the vast majority of complaints the Ad Council has received. “Some influencers talk so confidently about cryptocurrencies even though they don’t fully grasp it.”

According to reports, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) received 453 complaints about cryptocurrency advertisements between January and May.

The council also noted that 419 cryptocurrency advertisements needed to be modified as a result of complaints, the Economic Times reported on Monday, noting that influencers are the subject of the majority of complaints.

Manisha Kapoor, CEO of ASCI, described:

Some influencers talk so confidently about crypto without fully understanding it. It does create an impression that it is safe, it’s fine and a cool thing.

She explained that the council will continue to focus on adequate disclosures and risk disclaimers for payment-based promotions. The standards body is currently focusing on raising awareness with crypto exchanges.

“Some of these influencer ads don’t even talk about the risks, which is not right and against our guidelines. Technically, they are ads with no disclosures or disclaimers, which is mandatory,” Kapoor detailed, elaborating:

This is in violation of our guidelines. We will escalate it to the government in case of no compliance.

There are two sets of guidelines applicable to most crypto ads in India. One covers the promotion and advertisement of cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It was issued by the ASCI in February and went into effect in April.

The other set of guidelines, which entered into force in June last year, regulates the advertising and marketing activities of influencers.

Since the ASCI is a self-regulatory organization and its guidelines are not legally binding in India, when there is a breach of guidelines, it publishes the names of those in violation and escalates the case to relevant government regulators.

In May, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) proposed banning public figures, including celebrities and sportsmen, from advertising and endorsing crypto products and services. The securities watchdog also proposed that public figures be held liable for any legal violations when promoting crypto products.