The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Bitcoin advertising from the Coinfloor cryptocurrency exchange and called it “socially irresponsible”.
According to an announcement by the ASA on Wednesday, the ad in the Northamptonshire Telegraph on December 3 showed an elderly woman encouraging the public to use Coinfloor to build a Bitcoin savings portfolio.
The woman, who was described as 63 years old, said, “Today there is no point keeping her [money] in the bank – the interest rates are offensive […] Therefore, when I received my pension, I put a third of it in gold, a third in silver and the rest in Bitcoin … “
The ASA said the ad was “socially irresponsible because it indicated that buying Bitcoin was a good or safe way to invest your savings or retirement.”
The regulator added that the complainant, who challenged the ad, said the ad targeted retirees and was “misleading” as the risks associated with investing in the cryptocurrency were not clear.
In response to the complaint, Coinfloor stated that there was a disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of the ad stating, “Investing in cryptocurrencies involves significant risk and may result in the loss of the capital you invested. You shouldn’t be investing more than you can afford to lose. “
“We felt that the disclaimer was insufficient to counter the overall message of the ad that buying Bitcoin was a safe investment. Given the font size and positioning, it was not presented clearly or clearly enough to ensure that consumers were made aware of the risk of losing capital, “the ASA said.
Coinfloor also claimed the featured elderly woman was a customer who had expressed her own views on Bitcoin investments in the ad that “did not represent Coinfloor’s view”.
The ASA upheld the complaint, saying the ad was “misleading” because it did not make it “sufficiently clear” that bitcoin prices could go up as well as down or that the bitcoin market in the UK was unregulated, adding that this is a violation of advertising rules.
The ad can no longer be used by Coinfloor. The company has been warned that it needs to clarify the risks of investing in Bitcoin in future advertisements.