The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today issued a statement regarding crypto-asset advertising. The body says it sees crypto-asset advertising as a ‘red alert’ priority issue.

ASA recognises the important role it plays in regulating ads to ensure they don’t mislead consumers about a product’s risks or act irresponsibly in their promotion.

To that end, ASA is currently investigating a number of crypto-asset ads across different media, where it haas concerns about:

  • lack of appropriate risk warnings
  • the trivialisation of investments in cryptocurrency
  • ads taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience or incredulity
  • irresponsible advertising (for example, creating a sense of urgency to invest).

Regarding further action, ASA says:

“We’ll be providing clarity around our expectations of crypto-asset advertising through these rulings, which we expect to publish in mid-December. We’ll then carry out proactive monitoring and enforcement to tackle non-compliant ads for crypto-assets”.

The watchdog stresses that there is a clear separation between ads for legal crypto investments and illegitimate scam ads. On the latter, ASA is already taking action where it can to disrupt online scams through its Scam Ad Alert system. This was set up in partnership with the major digital advertising and social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, to help tackle bogus ads that leave consumers out of pocket, specifically online paid-for ads linking to fraudulent content, particularly crypto investment.