The UK’s watchdog has banned a web page and a Facebook post published by Arsenal football club promoting crypto-based fan tokens, claiming they were misleading supporters over the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) argued that the north London club was “taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity, trivialising investment in crypto assets, misleading consumers over the risk of investment and not making it clear the ‘token’ was a crypto asset”.
It ruled “the ads must not appear again in the form complained about”.
Defending itself, Arsenal said it would seek an independent review of the ruling “to seek greater clarity on the ASA’s current position”.
It’s worth noting that several football clubs are becoming involved with cryptoassets, including Barcelona and Juventus that offered their own “fan tokens” or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that serve as digital memorabilia – while proving potentially very lucrative for the clubs.
The latest ASA rulings – 25 in total – also included a ban on another crypto advert. Skrill, described as an “online wallet and money transfer service”, took advantage of consumers’ inexperience, the regulator said.
In addition, the ASA named and shamed reality TV personalities Charlotte Dawson and Chloe Ferry, the beauty blogger Jamie Genevieve and video blogger Anastasia Kingsnorth for publishing ads on their Instagram feeds without disclosing they were paid for the posts.