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Ads for Coinbase and Kraken banned by the UK advertising watchdog

3 min reading

The ASA aspires crypto firms to make it explicit that prior crypto surges do not ensure similar situations in the future.

The Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, the UK's independent advertising authority, has pulled down another batch of crypto-related ad campaigns featuring several key industry firms.

The ad watchdog released various rulings on ad breaches incorporating six crypto-related firms on December 15, including Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, Exmo, crypto broker Coinburp, and Luno crypto exchange. Papa John's Pizza received a similar ruling from the ASA.

According to the rulings, all seven ads or promos were forbidden for “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers inexperience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment”.

The ASA said that Coinbase's European branch particularly advertised a "misleading" promotion in a sponsored Facebook ad in July 2021, with content that stated, “five pounds in Bitcoin in 2010 would be worth over 100,000 pounds in January 2021.”

The ad“implied there would be a similar guaranteed increase in Bitcoin value over the next decade.” according to the advertising watchdog. The ASA also stated that Coinbase Europe “did not make clear that past performance was not necessarily a guide for the future”.

Some other ASA ruling was against Kraken operator Payward, which was associated with a digital Kraken poster displayed at London Bridge station in August 2021. The watchdog said that the ad missed an adequate risk caution since the risk disclaimer was only visible  “for one second.”

“The risk warning only ran for one second at the beginning of a 20-second ad and we considered it presented the consumer with a large amount of information that would not be fully read or understood even if it was seen at all,” the ruling states.

The ASA's new regulatory actions follow a series of similar rulings earlier this year, as the authority has been proactively tracking down and closing deceptive crypto advertisements.

The ASA terminated another Luno exchange ad campaign in May. This year, posters featuring an image of Bitcoin were shown on the London Underground and London buses, with the text:  “If you’re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.” An ad campaign by Coinfloor exchange was earlier restricted by the regulator.

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