The Advertising Standards Authority of the United Kingdom has issued an enforcement notice to more than 50 companies that promote cryptocurrencies. The regulator stated, “We will monitor for compliance and implement sanctions if we do not see improvements.”
The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the country’s regulator of advertising, announced Tuesday:
We have issued an enforcement notice to over 50 companies which advertise cryptocurrencies, instructing them to review their ads and to ensure they understand and are complying with the rules so that consumers are treated fairly.
“The enforcement notice provides guidance to the crypto industry on how to stick to the rules and warns that we will monitor for compliance and implement sanctions if we do not see improvements,” the ASA added.
“The notice applies to ads for cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges and ads or promotions which otherwise involve the transfer, sale or supply of cryptocurrencies, targeted at UK consumers or that are targeted globally on behalf of UK-based advertisers,” the watchdog detailed.
The ASA explained that advertisers must clearly state that cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the U.K. and the value of crypto investments could go down. In addition, they must not state or imply that crypto investment decisions are “trivial, simple, easy or suitable for anyone.” Ads must also not imply a sense of urgency to buy or create a fear of missing out (FOMO), or imply that investments are low-risk.
The advertising watchdog has been clamping down on misleading cryptocurrency ads in the country. Earlier this month, the regulator banned ads for floki inu (FLOKI) crypto. The coin was inspired by Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s shiba inu puppy called Floki. In December last year, the ASA banned seven crypto ads for Papa John’s Pizza, Coinbase, Kraken, Etoro, Luno, Coinburp, and Exmo.
The ASA noted:
This is a ‘red alert’ priority issue for us and we’ve recently banned several crypto ads for misleading consumers and for being socially irresponsible.
The advertising regulator said it is working with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take action against those who do not comply with the rules.
The ASA added that its compliance team “will conduct follow-up monitoring and if problem ads persist after 2 May, we will take targeted enforcement action.”