The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a bitcoin ad campaign put up across the London Underground network and on London buses by cryptocurrency exchange Luno. The UK advertising regulator says the ads are misleading and irresponsible.
â€˜Time to Buy Bitcoinâ€™ Ads Banned in the UK
A bitcoin advertising campaign put up across London Underground and on buses has been banned by the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ads contained an image of a bitcoin with the words â€œIf youâ€™re seeing bitcoin on a bus, itâ€™s time to buyâ€ or â€œIf youâ€™re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, itâ€™s time to buy.â€ They were put up in February.
The ASA said it received four complaints. Three complainants â€œbelieved the ad failed to illustrate the risk of the investmentâ€ and â€œchallenged whether it was misleading.â€ One complainant â€œchallenged whether the ad took advantage of consumersâ€™ inexperience or credulity,â€ the regulator detailed.
â€œWe considered that consumers would interpret the statement â€˜If youâ€™re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, itâ€™s time to buyâ€™ as a reference to buying bitcoin as an investment,â€ the ASA affirmed, elaborating:
â€œWe understood that neither Luno nor the bitcoin market in general was regulated within the UK, and therefore consumers could not seek recourse to services such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service,â€ the ASA noted, adding:
The agency further said: â€œWe considered that consumers would interpret the statement â€˜itâ€™s time to buyâ€™ as a call to action and that the simplicity of the statement gave the impression that bitcoin investment was straightforward and accessible.â€
However, the advertising regulator stated that â€œBitcoin investment was complex, volatile, and could expose investors to losses and considered that stood in contrast to the impression given by the ad, that investment was simple and conventional.â€ The agency then detailed:
Luno Money Ltd., which put up the ads, told the ASA that â€œthe ads would not appear again in the form complained about,â€ adding that â€œtheir future ads would feature an appropriate risk warning.â€
What do you think about the ASAâ€™s reasons for banning these bitcoin ads? Let us know in the comments section below.
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