The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent organization responsible for overseeing regulatory compliance in the advertising industry in the U.K., issued a statement today announcing its strategic crackdown on crypto ads.
The ASA says that it plans to launch a major initiative to shut down misleading advertorial materials pertaining to crypto and the blockchain space.
“We see this as an absolutely crucial and priority area for us. Where we do find problems, we will crack down hard and fast.” says Miles Lockwood, ASA’s director of complaints.
Lockwood further says that the organization will focus on crypto ads shown online, such as on social media platforms and digital ads, that have irresponsible claims.
“We do recognise that there are some types of media that we haven’t been able to address fully until now,” says Louise Maroney, financial complaints lead at the ASA.
According to the ASA, crypto ads pose a risk which they have identified as “red alert” priority, compared to financial advertisements. The U.K. regulator has since increased its capacity to track suspected advertisements by utilizing artificial intelligence and web content scraping. The ASA has also disclosed that it will be working with major tech platforms to get scam advertisements shut down in line with its efforts to ban crypto ads.
The UK regulatory organization also plans to issue warnings that will require crypto startups and related firms to post disclaimers on any advertising material set for publication and distribution.
The revitalization of the regulator’s crypto ad banning initiatives follows the FCA’s recent consumer warning on crypto. However, according to the Financial Conduct Authority, ads made for crypto investments are not primarily driven by such materials.
“Only a minority of people buy digital coins based on advertising, but those who do so tend to have worse outcomes.” says the FCA.
The ASA stated that it aims to supervise crypto ads because crypto investments often work outside the U.K.’s compliance frameworks for promotional materials produced for financial products. The regulator has since taken down advertising materials published and distributed from crypto exchanges such as Luno and Coinfloor.