South African Self-Regulatory Body Mandates Risk Warnings in Crypto Ads

Under the industry’s self-regulation code, advertisements must clearly warn users of investment risk and social media influencers shouldn’t offer trading advice.

AccessTimeIconJan 23, 2023 at 9:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 23, 2023 at 4:18 p.m. UTC

Crypto ads in South Africa must warn potential buyers that their capital can be at risk, under new guidelines put out Monday by the country’s Advertising Regulatory Board, a self-regulatory initiative by the ad and public relations industry.

The ARB is also seeking to tighten the rules for social media influencers who promote crypto.

“This is a wonderful example of an industry that sees the harm that could be done in its name, and steps up to self-regulate the issues without being forced to do so by government,” Gail Schimmel, chief executive officer of the ARB, said in an emailed statement.

Crypto ads “must expressly and clearly state that investing in crypto assets may result in the loss of capital as the value is variable and can go up as well as down,” said the updated ARB guidance.

Social media influencers and ambassadors should only share factual information rather than offer advice on trading or promising guaranteed returns, it added.

The country is the latest to seek to ensure crypto publicity is fair and honest. The U.K. is also proposing legislation to constrain crypto promotions. In the U.S., reality TV star and influencer Kim Kardashian recently settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $1.26 million for hyping ethereumMax without disclosing she was being paid.


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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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