UK’s Advertising Regulator Bans 2 Crypto.com Ads

The ads were deemed to be “misleading” and “irresponsible.”

AccessTimeIconJan 5, 2022 at 9:47 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 5, 2022 at 10:34 p.m. UTC

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has had two ads banned because they were considered to be misleading by the U.K’s advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The first ad was shown Sept. 1 on the Daily Mail newspaper’s app. It included text saying, “Buy Bitcoin with credit card instantly,” the regulator said Wednesday.

The ASA determined that the company was encouraging customers to purchase crypto with a credit card, which would possibly be subject to a higher cash interest rate as well as other fees.

The second ad, shown July 30 in the Love Balls cellphone game published by Lion Studios, said, “Earn up to 3.5% p.a,” while the number cited in the text increased to “8.5%.” This was thought to be misleading because consumers would assume their investment would grow by the higher amount shown, when the return would depend on the type of crypto invested and the length of term, the ASA said.

The ASA also said the ads were irresponsible, taking advantage of consumers’ “inexperience or credulity” and failed to make clear that crypto investments aren’t regulated in the U.K.

The exchange joins a troupe of crypto platforms to have their knuckles rapped by the ASA. Last month, Coinbase, eToro and Luno were all criticized for potentially taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience and not clearly illustrating the risk involved in their products and services.

Crypto.com told the ASA that the ads had been removed when it first heard of the concerns and it was drafting a new U.K. marketing policy. In the first case, the ad wasn’t an encouragement to buy crypto, but drew attention to the ease with which transactions could be carried out on its platform. The second targeted existing crypto holders with a way of generating yield. They would already be aware of the investment risks, it said.

“We appreciate the collaborative dialogue and engagement from the ASA regarding advertising in the U.K. in this relatively new industry, and remain committed to working with them and regulators around the world to ensure all of our activities are compliant with the most recent regulatory guidelines,” a Crypto.com spokesperson told CoinDesk.

It was reported yesterday that some Members of Parliament are asking the government to consider a regulatory clampdown on digital investment platforms given that no agency is directly responsible for the regulation of crypto assets, with the ASA being the only such body to take a proactive stance.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.