The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority said Tuesday that it had issued notices to over 50 companies that advertise cryptocurrencies, asking them to review their ads to ensure compliance with existing rules.
The guidance outlined in the official Enforcement Notices requires that advertisers “clearly state that cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the U.K. and that the value of investments are variable and can go down,” and that they cannot “imply that investment decisions are trivial, simple, easy or suitable for anyone.”
Additionally, the ads cannot imply a sense of urgency to buy crypto, create a “fear of missing out” or suggest that crypto investments are “low risk,” which would seem to rule out most crypto ads.
The ASA said misleading crypto ads are considered “a ‘red alert’ priority issue,” and noted it had already banned several crypto ads regulators considered misleading to consumers. It added that if crypto companies do not comply with the ad regulations by May 2, it will take “targeted enforcement action,” which includes reporting the companies to the U.K.’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority.
The ad crackdown comes just weeks after the FCA announced that it has 50 live investigations into unauthorized crypto companies, which could signify a larger spotlight on the crypto industry as a whole. The FCA has been slow to issue licenses to crypto firms.