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UK advertising watchdog bans crypto ads for Coinbase and Kraken

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The Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, the UK’s independent advertising regulator, has removed another batch of cryptocurrency-related ad campaigns promoting several major companies in the industry.

On Dec. 15, the advertising watchdog issued multiple rulings on advertising violations involving six crypto-related businesses, including Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, Exmo, crypto broker Coinburp, and crypto exchange Luno. The ASA also issued a similar decision for the pizza chain Papa John’s.

The seven advertisements or promotions were banned for “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumer inexperience and failing to illustrate the risk of investing,” according to the rulings.

The ASA argued that the European branch of Coinbase specifically ran a “misleading” promotion on its paid Facebook ad in July 2021, including text stating that “five pounds worth of Bitcoin in 2010 was worth over £100,000 in January. 2021”.

According to the ad regulator, the announcement “implied that there would be a similar guaranteed increase in the value of Bitcoin over the next decade.” Coinbase Europe “also did not clarify that past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future,” the ASA noted.

Another ASA decision was against Payward, which operates Kraken, linked to a digital poster for Kraken seen in August 2021 at London Bridge station. The watchdog argued that the ad lacked a proper risk warning, as a risk warning was only displayed “for one second”.

“The risk warning was only one second long at the start of a 20-second ad and we considered presented the consumer with a large amount of information that would not be fully read or understood even if it were seen at all,” the ruling said. bed.

Related: UK Politicians Say Cryptocurrency Is ‘Not An Investment’

The latest regulatory actions taken by the ASA join a number of similar rulings issued earlier this year, as the authority actively sought out and shut down misleading crypto advertisements.

In May, the ASA removed another ad campaign from Luno Exchange. The advert ran across the London Underground network and on London buses this year, with posters including an image of Bitcoin saying, “If you see bitcoin on the underground, it’s time to buy.” The regulator previously banned an advertising campaign by Coinfloor Exchange.