An ad campaign that had been telling the public that “it’s time to buy” bitcoin has been banned after the advertising watchdog said that it was very misleading and irresponsible. This high-profile ad campaign was featured in London underground and the bus network. The strapline said, “If you’re seeing bitcoin on the underground, it’s time to buy.”
The Advertising Standards Authority’s ban on the ads comes one week after the falling of the price of the digital currency. ASA has received complaints that the advertisements have failed to elucidate the risks related to it. The watchdog also received a complaint that ads are taking advantage of the inexperience and credulity of the consumer.
In ruling against the crypto exchange, Luno, which is part of a group and also owns CoinDesk, the ad watchdog, said that displaying this advertising in the London underground and bus network was done purposely to target the financial novices.
The ASA said that the simplicity of the phrase “it’s time to buy” is giving the impression that bitcoin investment is straightforward and accessible.
“We understood that bitcoin investment was complex, volatile and could expose investors to losses,” said the ASA. “That stood in contrast to the ad. The audience it addressed, the general public, were likely to be inexperienced in their understanding of cryptocurrencies.”
The ASA thus banned the ad campaign for its breaching of the UK code for putting up a misleading advertisement. Luno said that it would get featured as an “appropriate risk warning” in future campaigns.
In March, the ASA had banned a similar full-page ad in a newspaper, which told the readers, “there is no point in keeping your money in the bank.” Also, there was another testimonial that has described bitcoin as “digital gold.”
Critics of bitcoin are predicting a crash in the market for months. The Tesla chief executive and crypto supporter, Elon Musk, has posted many tweets. It showed that he had made a U-turn from the support of decentralized coins.
Musk has suspended the plans to let Tesla customers pay in bitcoin for purchasing cars due to environmental concerns.
“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment,” he tweeted.