The UK Advertising Standards Authority banned ads for cryptocurrency exchange Coinfloor, calling it socially irresponsible and misleading about the risks associated with cryptocurrency.
According to UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the advertisement was "socially irresponsible." A piece published in the Northamptonshire Telegraph on December 3 showed an elderly woman urging consumers to use Coinfloor to buy bitcoins in order to preserve their savings.
The woman, described as 63, said: “Today there is no point keeping it in the bank – the interest rates are insulting […] That is why when I received my pension, I put a third of it into gold, a third of it into silver and the remainder into Bitcoin… To me, Bitcoin is digital gold and it has allowed me to take the steps to secure the cash I already have." The advertisement said that "more and more people are waking up to the savings power of bitcoin."
The ASA notes that the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrency are mentioned at the bottom of the ad in small print and that the ad itself is aimed at retirees. According to ASA, the ad is misleading because it does not sufficiently clarify the risks associated with investing in bitcoins, including the loss of capital, and hints that buying bitcoins is a safe asset for storing savings.
Coinfloor insisted that the words of one of the clients of the exchange are formatted as I-statements, that is, they are in italics, enclosed in quotation marks, and include phrases such as "for me" and "in my opinion." According to the company, it was a personal story of one of its clients, which seemed to them worth mentioning.
The supervisory authority's complaint was also sent to the editorial office of the Northamptonshire Telegraph. The newspaper responded that it will no longer accept such materials for publication under advertising contracts unless the advertisement is approved by the CAP Copy Advice team and complies with the CAP code.