The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advertisement by cryptocurrency exchange, Coinfloor as it was ‘misleading’ and ‘socially irresponsible’.
The regional press ad for the crypto exchange, entitled: “There is no point in keeping your money in the bank…,” was featured in the Northamptonshire Telegraph on 3 December 2020.
It featured a 63-year-old woman, and the accompanying texts stated: “I come from a generation of savers, not spenders…Today there is no point keeping it in the bank – the interest rates are insulting…That is why when I received my pension, I put a third of it into gold, a third of it into silver and the remainder into Bitcoin.”
Her testimony in the ad further mentioned: “To me, Bitcoin is digital gold, and it has allowed me to take the steps to secure the cash I already have … there was just a simple sign-up process, and then I could buy Bitcoin automatically straight from my bank account.”
Bitcoin Is Risky
The ban by the advertisement regulatory body came following a complaint it received, which pointed out that the ad was targeted at retirees.
The arguments against the ad added that the crypto exchange failed to clarify the risks associated with Bitcoin that include loss of capital. Furthermore, the Bitcoin market is not regulated in Britain, which significantly increases the investment risks.
The crypto exchange only added a brief risk warning in a small print, noting: “Investing in cryptocurrencies involves significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose.”
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Additionally, the reader claimed that the ad was socially irresponsible for suggesting Bitcoin was secure to invest with savings and pensions.
However, Coinfloor argued that the perspective in the advertisement shows the view of the featured woman and not the exchange. Additionally, it stressed that the ad did not suggest that the woman’s investment decisions were wise.
Although the crypto exchange’s arguments did not satisfy the regulatory body, which upheld the complaints against the Coinfloor ad, it ordered that the ad must not appear again in its current form.
According to the ASA, the disclaimer was not enough to propagate the risks associated with an unregulated Bitcoin.
“We concluded that the ad irresponsibly suggested that purchasing Bitcoin through Coinfloor was a secure way to invest one’s savings or pension, particularly given that the audience it addressed were likely to be inexperienced in their understanding of cryptocurrencies, and therefore was in breach of the Code,” the ASA stated.
Running Big Ad Campaigns
Coinfloor grabbed headlines last December when the exchange ran a massive ad campaign and flooded London’s metro stations with advertisements.
“We are disappointed with the decision of the ASA, given that this was our first major newspaper publication, and we pride ourselves on being honest and transparent about the best performing asset of the last decade,” Coinfloor said on the ASA’s decision.