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ASA sends an enforcement notice and crypto ad warning to 50 UK firms

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  • The list of firms that received the ASA’s enforcement notice includes past offenders
  • The served firms have until May 2 to review their ads and ensure they comply with the outlined rules

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has issued a notice to 50 companies offering crypto services in the UK, demanding that they review their crypto advertisements by May 2, else they risk facing more decisive action.

Following a crypto ad red alert notice it issued last November, the ASA is on a path of enforcing an industry-wide crackdown. The watchdog considers it necessary to fight against the “misleading and irresponsible” advertisements around crypto products.  

“Crypto has exploded in popularity in recent years. We’re concerned that people might be enticed by ads into investing money they can’t afford to lose, without understanding the risks,” the chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, Guy Parker, said in a statement.

While the ASA did not reveal the names of these fifty firms, it confirmed that all those it has previously given a ruling against are included in this list. These include Crypto exchanges Coinbase Europe and Crypto.com, meme coin Floki Inu, trading platform eToro UK, and Premier League club Arsenal FC.

Crypto ads must not mislead the public

The enforcement notice itself sets guidelines for the crypto industry in the form of requirements to ensure compliance. The directive requires that advertisers categorically state that crypto is not regulated in the UK, and the value of investments cannot be assured.

The Standards Authority further outlines that advertising entities must in no way trivialise the weight of crypto investments in a way to make them seem basic or suited for anyone. They must also not induce a fear of missing out or imply the need to act fast.

The ASA additionally warned that the platforms must not publish advertisements suggesting that the risk of investment in digital assets is low.

Tougher sanctions on repeat offenders

Entities that would not comply with the enforcement notice by the set date would suffer much more “targeted enforcement action.” This includes reporting them to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or Trading Standards, which has the regulatory power to stop entities from trading.

“We will continue to work closely with the ASA to tackle unclear or misleading crypto advertising. Those who invest in crypto assets should be prepared to lose all their money,” said the FCA’s Sarah Pritchard in a statement published alongside the enforcement notice.



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