The Irish Advertising Standards Authority (ASAI) is conducting an assessment of cryptocurrency advertising, which could result in a crackdown on digital asset promotion.
Irish Ad Regulator to Evaluate Crypto Ads Guidance
As the use of cryptocurrencies grows, governments are scrambling to regulate what is still a largely unregulated industry. The Irish advertising watchdog has revealed plans to evaluate legislation governing the promotion of cryptocurrencies as part of its ongoing efforts.
According to the Irish Independent, the ASAI’s decision comes in reaction to a rise in adverts for crypto companies like Floki and complaints about the lack of clarification in such ads about probable concerns of investing in crypto.
The regulator’s representative explained:
“The ASAI is considering reviewing whether additional rules and/or guidance are required in light of the emerging trend of cryptocurrency business advertisements. (…) The ASAI is aware of concerns about consumer knowledge of cryptocurrencies. As well as the general rules on truthfulness, honesty, and substantiation, the ASAI code contains rules related to financial advertising.”
In order to avoid exploiting customers’ naivete, these laws require advertising to make clear that their investments are insecure and could go either way — either up or down.
There will be one of two outcomes following the agency’s review. Either the industry recommendations for the ASAI code will be revised, or the code itself may be modified.
In February, the ASAI supported a complaint that the advertiser for the cryptocurrency Floki Inu (FLOKI) had failed to include a warning concerning the coin’s volatile value. Consequently, the advertisement had to be withdrawn by the company.
Regulation of Crypto Ads Across the Globe
On January 18, The UK’s economic and finance ministry, the HM Treasury, responded to a consultation by announcing plans to introduce new laws to tighten regulations on crypto advertising. In order to guard against customers being misled about digital assets, the rules have been implemented.
Ads and promotions using digital currencies will be subject to FCA oversight under the new regulations, according to the responses from the consultation. In accordance with the announcement, cryptocurrency marketing would be subject to the same regulations and requirements as other financial products, including shares and insurance.
In November 2021, the ASAI’s British counterpart Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), began an investigation into the FLOKI ad campaign after a series of advertisements were placed on public transit in London.
As a note, the UK’s advertising regulator has adopted a more aggressive stance on crypto adverts than the ASAI. Specifically, it has ordered more than 50 crypto businesses to assess their ads and ensure that they are in compliance with applicable rules. Targeted sanctions await if they don’t fix the “misleading ads” by May 2.
Meanwhile, early this year, Spain began to regulate the advertising of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, with the regulations taking effect in February.
Singapore, on the other hand, aimed to limit the ability of cryptocurrency operators to market their services to the general public in the country while outside of the European Commission’s jurisdiction.