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Arsenal football club in dispute with ASA over ‘irresponsible’ crypto ad

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a body that oversees advertising in the United Kingdom, is cracking down on non-compliant crypto advertisements. 

Earlier this year, Arsenal became one of the many football clubs to collaborate with blockchain firm Chiliz and launch a fan token. On Aug. 12 this year, the club promoted its fan token AFC on its official Facebook page, which the ASA has banned for allegedly violating its advertising rules. The agency stated that the post did not highlight the risks involved in the investment.

In a different event, as per a BBC report, the monitor claims that the topic of content on Arsenal’s official website — particularly, a page published on Aug. 6, 2021, with the title “$AFC Fan Token: Everything you need to know” — was violating advertising rules.

According to the ads watchdog, both commercials were irresponsible and took advantage of consumers’ lack of experience while trivializing crypto investments. The BBC quotes an official from Arsenal Football Club stating, “We take our responsibilities to our fans seriously,” adding that they had evaluated all of the communications with the fans about offers and made available information on financial risks.

The latest regulatory actions by the ASA add to a slew of similar decisions made earlier this year, as the body has been zealously pursuing and shutting down misleading cryptocurrency advertisements. The independent advertising authority recently removed a number of cryptocurrency-related ad campaigns for several major industry players, including Coinbase and Kraken. It stated that the ads are “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment.”

In May, the ASA removed Luno exchange’s ad campaign, which was a picture of Bitcoin (BTC) used on subway posters stating, “If you’re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.”

Arsenal is one of several top-tier football clubs that have collaborated with blockchain firms to create a fan token. West Ham United — a soccer club that competes in the English Premier League and is located in London — teamed up with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem in 2019.

Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich is no stranger to working with blockchain projects, having teamed up last fall with Stryking Entertainment to create digital collectibles of its players.


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