Advertisement monitoring authority of the UK took serious note of the advertisements containing enticing messages of inviting investors for investing in digital currencies which resulted in banning of advertisements of Papa John’s Pizza as well as they contained pictures of digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Other affected companies included crypto exchanges such as Kraken, Luno, Coinbase, and Etoro.
From the crypto business point of view, the UK is considered a friendly land that welcomes digital currencies with open arms. But there are certain state functionaries which rather have strict viewpoints against cryptocurrencies. For instance, the central bank of England does not favor the usage of cryptocurrencies and instead discourages crypto investment.
Then there is a British authority called “Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)”. This very authority’s sole responsibility is to monitor ad posts published or promoted in the UK whether in printed or electronic form. It has to check whether the advertisement passes the standards set up by the authority. If the advertisement fails to pass the test, then the advertisement is immediately banned. Since ASA is a quasi-judicial authority, therefore, violation of standards can lead to the issuance of subpoenas and initiation of legal proceedings also.
Recently, ASA took serious notes of the advertisement involving crypto trading and encouraging people to embrace digital currencies. Most of the crypto advertisements were promoted by crypto exchanges working in the UK like Kraken, Luno, Coinbase, and Etoro. Amongst them was the globally popular pizza chain namely “Papa John’s” which too was advertising cryptocurrencies. ASA took the advertisements for testing to see whether they were in compliance with its standards.
Upon testing, ASA has made its determination in which it has declared that the advertisements are “deceptive” and “misleading”. It also said that the advertisement is misinforming the audience they intend to seek. For instance, ASA pointed out in its ruling that the contents of the advertisements lack responsibility and put consumers at to disadvantage. It further noted that none of the advertisements highlighted the risks associated with crypto adoption or its trading.
After giving its findings on the issue, ASA then suspends all the advertisements which it found misleading, deceptive, and irresponsible towards consumers. Within the suspended ads were the advertisements of Papa John’s, Coinbase, Etoro, Exmo, Luno, etc.
Without giving any opportunity to the affected promoters of the advertisements, suspension of ad notices was delivered to them. They were not even asked to explain their cases nor were any clear objections were raised in such notices. However, ASA has warned the promotors to be watchful in the future and ensure that the advertisements are in compliance with the standards.
Papa John’s was in fact not enticing people to trade crypto. However, it was offering a reward program that involved Bitcoin rewards for frequent customers.