UK advertising watchdog bans ‘irresponsible’ Floki Inu cryptocurrency ad

March 2, 2022

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

Britain’s advertising watchdog has banned an underground London campaign for Floki Inu, a cryptocurrency named after a dog owned by Tesla chief Elon Musk for allegedly taking advantage of naïve consumers unaware of the potential dangers of investing in digital crypto-assets.

Here’s what we know:

  • The ad, which appeared across the London Underground in November 2021, features an image of a cartoon dog wearing a Viking helmet alongside the slogan “Missed Doge? Get Floki.”
  • Smaller text at the bottom of the ad said: “Your investment may go down as well as up in value. Cryptocurrency is not regulated in the UK.”
  • The ad was created in-house by the Floki team. It had not generated any complaints, but a spokesperson for the ASA said crypto assets were a “red alert priority area” and that the regulator was conducting proactive monitoring of ads in this space. 
  • The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because its use of an image of a cartoon dog wearing a Viking helmet and the claim “Missed Doge. Get Floki” exploited consumers’ fears of missing out and trivialized investment in cryptocurrency, and took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity.
  • In response, Floki Inu said it had been told by the Committee of Advertising Practice that the ad complied with the CAP Code before the campaign was launched. It added that the image of the cartoon dog, which is based on Elon Musk’s dog Floki, was its corporate logo and was used in the ad for brand recognition purposes.
  • The ASA ruled out that operating on the capital’s tube community they focused on all viewers, lots of whom would have an awareness of the cryptocurrency craze.
  • The watchdog mentioned the relative dimension of the warning small print in contrast with the promoting slogan meant its overriding impression to any commuter was that it was crucial to purchase Floki Inu now to keep away from lacking out on vital income.
  • “We thought of that the advert took benefit of customers’ inexperience or credulity,” the ASA mentioned. “We subsequently concluded the advert was irresponsible and breached the code. We informed Floki Inu to make sure that they didn’t irresponsibly exploit customers’ worry of lacking out and trivialize funding in cryptocurrency.”
  • In January, the Treasury unveiled plans to crack down on misleading cryptocurrency ads by making them topic to the identical laws as advertising for different monetary merchandise corresponding to shares and insurance coverage.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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