The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating Floki Inu cryptocurrency ads which have appeared on the London Underground in recent weeks, according to The Guardian.
“While I can’t go into specifics at this time, I can confirm that we are currently investigating Floki Inu,” an ASA spokesperson reportedly said.
News of the ASA investigation comes just days after Sian Berry, a Green Party London Assembly member, called for a crypto ad ban on London’s public transport—also following the Floki Inu campaign.
“I don’t think cryptocurrency ads should be on the transportation network. They’re unethical,” she said.
The Floki Inu ad
The Floki Inu ad in question has appeared not only on the London Underground but also on the city’s buses.
“Missed DOGE? Get Floki,” the ad reads, enticing potential investors who feel they may have missed out on the staggering price rise of Dogecoin this year.
“Where the advert says ‘this is completely unregulated, you may lose all your money,’ they ought to have had second thoughts,” Berry added.
The ASA’s investigation is not necessarily surprising. The advertising watchdog has previously come down hard on other crypto-related ads that it was uncomfortable with.
The ASA and crypto
It has been a busy year for the ASA when it comes to crypto ads.
In March, the watchdog cracked down on an ad from crypto firm Coinfloor for “irresponsibly” promoting Bitcoin as an investment to pensioners. Two months later, they banned another campaign, this time launched by the crypto exchange Luno.
“If you’re seeing Bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy,” Luno’s campaign said.
In July, the ASA’s director of complaints and investigations, Miles Lockwood, said crypto ads were an “absolutely critical and priority area” for the watchdog.
The ASA’s position is broadly similar to the one taken by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the country’s financial regulator, which has repeatedly warned that investors should be “prepared to lose all their money” should they invest in crypto assets.