The UK’s ad watchdog has held Arsenal Football club in breach of rules regarding posts about the Socios token. The watchdog reprimanded the club over trivializing investments in crypto assets. The watchdog also banned two of the club’s ads promoting the Socios fan token.
The move comes as part of a wider crackdown against fan token advertising in the UK.
Potentially Misleading Consumers
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned the posts related to the Socios fan token, stating that the posts took advantage of consumers’ inexperience when it comes to crypto assets and investing in crypto. It further stated that the posts by the club were also misleading consumers because they did not specify that fan tokens were crypto assets that required another cryptocurrency to be purchased.
The watchdog ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form. Meanwhile, Arsenal stated that they would seek an independent review of the ruling, adding that they had adequately informed about any potential financial risk.
The ASA Ruling
The ASA had ruled against two posts promoting the Arsenal fan token ($AFC). The first breach was in relation to content posted on the Arsenal website, specifically to a page titled “$AFC Fan Token: Everything You Need To Know.”
The second ruling was against a Facebook post on the club’s official page which read, “$AFC is now live. What song do you want to hear when we win? Download the Socios app to get your token and vote”.
The ASA further stated that the club needed to be more clear in informing fans that fan tokens are crypto-assets and “that the value of investments in crypto-assets was variable and crypto-assets were unregulated.”
A Carefully Considered Communication
Arsenal Football club denied that they were in violation of any guidelines, stating that the club is extremely responsible when it comes to any marketing activities.
“We carefully considered the communications to fans regarding our promotions and provided information regarding financial risks.”
The club also stated that they were seeking an independent review of the ruling, adding that the official website did add a warning that fans “could lose some or all of their money invested.”
Socios Fueling A Crypto Boom
Arsenal is just one of several clubs that have partnered with Socios to offer fan tokens through its app. Socios has welcomed Arsenal’s move to call for an independent review, commenting,
“We welcome Arsenal’s call for an independent review. This is a fast-moving area, and clarity is needed to ensure all companies can adhere to the latest guidelines.”
Currently, 24 clubs across Europe’s major leagues have launched or are planning to launch fan tokens, including eight teams in the Premier League. However, supporter groups are still wary, with the Arsenal Supporters Trust stating that the club should be clear in informing fans that cryptocurrencies are unregulated.
Scrutiny To Increase
The ASA is all set to increase its vigilance of adverts related to cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, with the agency announcing that it will be more proactive in its monitoring of advertisements related to crypto as well as their interventions, with the watchdog having come down heavily on several adverts related to crypto-assets it deemed as misleading.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.
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