ASA statement on crypto-assets

We’re aware that people are concerned about crypto-asset advertising – particularly regarding cryptocurrencies and 'non-fungible tokens' (NFTs). This is a ‘red alert’ priority issue for us and we’re taking action.

Crypto-assets have exploded in popularity in recent years, but there’s a real danger that people may be drawn in to invest life savings that they later lose based on poor understanding. We recognise the important role we play in regulating ads to ensure they don’t mislead consumers about a product’s risks or act irresponsibly in their promotion.

To that end, we’re currently investigating a number of crypto-asset ads across different media, where we have concerns about:

  • lack of appropriate risk warnings
  • the trivialisation of investments in cryptocurrency
  • ads taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience or incredulity
  • irresponsible advertising (for example, creating a sense of urgency to invest).

We’ll be providing clarity around our expectations of crypto-asset advertising through these rulings, which we expect to publish in mid-December. We'll then carry out proactive monitoring and enforcement to tackle non-compliant ads for crypto-assets.

In all of this, there is a clear separation between ads for legal crypto investments and illegitimate scam ads. On the latter, we are already taking action where we can to disrupt online scams through our Scam Ad Alert system. This was set up in partnership with the major digital advertising and social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, to help tackle bogus ads that leave consumers out of pocket, specifically online paid-for ads linking to fraudulent content, particularly crypto investment.

We will continue to review our policies around crypto-asset advertising and make sure that our rules are always protecting consumers.

If you have concerns about any crypto-asset ads you’ve seen, let us know using our complaint form.

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