The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) is reportedly preparing a review of the industry’s current guidance so that it can better address risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
Per the Irish Independent, the move comes in response to an increase in the number of ads promoting crypto projects, as well as complaints about the lack of clarification in those ads about products and services they promote.
The review could result in updated industry guidance on the code or a change in the code itself.
“The ASAI is considering reviewing whether additional rules and/or guidance is required in light of the emerging trend of cryptocurrency business advertisements,” the agency’s spokesperson told the Irish Independent.
They went on to add that the agency is “aware of concerns about consumer knowledge of cryptocurrencies,” and that apart from “the general rules on truthfulness, honesty and substantiation, the ASAI code contains rules related to financial advertising.”
The global crypto ad crackdown
Advertising regulators around the world have taken aim at the excesses of crypto adverts.
In February this year, the Advertising Standards Council of India issued guidelines around crypto advertising, after finding that several ads "do not adequately disclose" risks associated with crypto.
Following new rules introduced in January, crypto influencers in Spain now face fines of up to $300,000 for failing to disclose if they've received remuneration for promoting cryptocurrencies. The regulations, introduced by the country's National Securities Market Commission, also require influencers and outlets to include “clear, balanced, impartial and non-misleading” statements about the risks of crypto.
In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority last month issued an Enforcement Notice to about 50 crypto companies, providing them with a new set of guidelines to conform to by May 2.
The guidelines aim to protect consumers from “FOMO” (the acronym for “Fear Of Missing Out”), and require advertisers to clearly state that cryptocurrencies are currently unregulated in the UK, that prices are volatile and investments in crypto can be risky.
Earlier this year, the UK government introduced new legislation to protect consumers from misleading cryptocurrency ads. The legislation requires all crypto ads in the UK to be approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).
Ads for Floki Inu, a meme coin known for its aggressive marketing campaigns and rapid rise in popularity, were banned in the UK in March after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deemed its promotion campaign "irresponsible."
According to the British regulator, Floki’s ad campaign on London’s public transportation "exploited consumers' fears of missing out and trivialized investment in cryptocurrency" and "took advantage of consumers' inexperience or credulity."
In February, the ASAI was looking into Floki’s ad campaign too, upholding a complaint which said the advertiser had not included a warning about the variable value of the asset, and forcing the company behind the project to remove the ads.