UK's advertising watchdog bans two ads found misleading on Crypto.com
HomeNewsUK's advertising watchdog bans two ads found misleading on Crypto.com

UK's advertising watchdog bans two ads found misleading on Crypto.com

Walter Akolo
Walter Akolo
31st Jan 2023

The Advertising Standards Authority of the United Kingdom has banned two ads on a well-known payment and cryptocurrency trading platform. 

According to the watchdog, two in-app ads for crypto.com were found misleading, misappropriated, and irresponsible. The independent regulator is mandated to make ads across all media responsible, honest, and truthful. 

In addition, ASA’s responsibility is to, “respond to concerns and complaints from consumers and businesses and take action to ban ads which are misleading, harmful, offensive or irresponsible.”

Last year, ASA went on a crypto ad banning spree where it found many companies, including England’s football club, Arsenal, in breach of its rules. Other popular companies found guilty included Coinbase Europe, Papa John’s GB, eToro (UK), among others. 

Issues found in Crypto.com ads

The two mobile application ads were seen on different applications, Daily Mail and Love Balls on Sep 1, 2021, and July 30, 2021, respectively. They both promoted investing in cryptocurrency as well as earning rewards from their crypto assets. 

The ad in the Daily Mail app stated, “Buy Bitcoin with credit card instantly.” Love Balls app stated, “Earn up to 3.5% p.a.” ASA argued that the statement in the Daily Mail was misleading as it failed to expound on the limitations of using a credit card while buying crypto. 

ASA further added that both advertisements took advantage of the target audiences’ lack of enough cryptocurrency knowledge and failed to illustrate the potential risk of investment.

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This ad promotes virtual cryptocurrency investing within the EU (by eToro Europe Ltd. and eToro UK Ltd.) & USA (by eToro USA LLC); which is highly volatile, unregulated in most EU countries, no EU protections & not supervised by the EU regulatory framework. Investments are subject to market risk, including the loss of principal.

Response given

Crypto.com heeded ASA’s concerns and removed the ads while taking a few measures to correct their error. They considered creating a new marketing policy per the framework set by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and ASA. The two signed an MoU to collaborate concerning advertising in the United Kingdom.

The FCA has six consumer outcomes. Crypto.com considered two that state;

  • Firms are expected to promote products and services designed to meet the needs of customers. 
  • Firms must give clear information and keep customers informed throughout the buying process.

Although Crypto.com acknowledged some errors, they explained the intention was not to promote cryptocurrency, instead facilitate ease of buying.

However, the ads were found misleading and in breach of its CAP Code. “The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information,” noted ASA.

Author Bio
Walter Akolo
Walter Akolo
Walter is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. He covers the latest news on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. Walter has a decade of experience as a writer.