The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Bitcoin advertising campaign run by the Luno cryptocurrency exchange across the London Underground network and on London buses. The UK advertising regulator says the ads are misleading and irresponsible.
UK Banned Ads to Buy Bitcoin Ads
A Bitcoin advertising campaign on the London Underground and on buses has been banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ads featured a picture of a bitcoin with the words “When you see bitcoin on a bus, it’s time to buy” or “When you see bitcoin underground, it’s time to buy”. They were set up in February.
The ASA said it had received four complaints. Three complainants “believed that the advertisement did not depict the risk of the investment” and “asked if it was misleading”. One complainant “objected to whether the advertisement exploited the inexperience or gullibility of consumers,” said the regulatory authority.
“We believed that consumers would interpret the statement ‘If you see Bitcoin underground, it is time to buy’ as an indication of buying Bitcoin as an investment,” the ASA reiterated, explaining:
The ad appeared on the London Underground and London bus networks, which were non-targeted media, so it was likely seen by consumers who did not have extensive financial knowledge and experience of Bitcoin and would expect the Bitcoin exchange is regulated with legal protection for investment activities.
“We understand that neither Luno nor the Bitcoin market in general are regulated in the UK and therefore consumers cannot avail of services such as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service,” noted the ASA, adding:
We have therefore come to the conclusion that the ad is misleading.
The agency went on to say, “We believed that consumers would interpret the statement,” It’s time to buy, “as a call to action and that the simplicity of the statement created the impression that Bitcoin investing was straightforward and accessible.”
However, the advertising regulator said, “Bitcoin investments have been complex, volatile and have exposed investors to losses. Contrary to what the ad looked like, investing was simple and conventional. ”The agency then stated:
We concluded that the ad irresponsibly indicated that investing in Bitcoin through Luno was straightforward and straightforward, especially given that the audience targeted, the general public, was likely inexperienced in their understanding of cryptocurrencies and therefore against violated the code.
Luno Money Ltd., which ran the ads, told the ASA that “the ads would not reappear in the offending form,” adding that “their future ads would contain an appropriate risk warning”.
What do you think of the ASA’s reasons for banning these bitcoin ads? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Disclaimer of liability: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or an invitation to submit an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or approval of products, services or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author are directly or indirectly responsible for any damage or loss caused or allegedly caused by or in connection with the use or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.