The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the U.K.’s regulator of advertising, published its “Ruling on Floki Inu” Wednesday.
The advertising authority began investigating an ad campaign for floki inu (FLOKI), the cryptocurrency inspired by Elon Musk’s shiba inu dog, in November last year after the Floki ad was seen on public transport in London.
The ad contains a floki inu logo and text that says, “Missed Doge? Get Floki.” It also contains smaller text at the bottom that reads, “Your investment may go down as well as up in value. Cryptocurrency is not regulated in the UK.”
After investigation, the ASA ruled:
The 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.
In addition, the advertising watchdog ruled that “the ad was irresponsible” and “took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity.”
The ASA explained that it has told the team behind the floki inu cryptocurrency “to ensure that they did not irresponsibly exploit consumer’s fear of missing out and trivialize investment in cryptocurrency.” They must also “ensure that they did not irresponsibly take advantage of consumers’ lack of experience or credulity by not making clear CGT could be due on cryptocurrency profits.”
The ASA concluded:
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about.
The advertising authority also noted that the disclaimer at the bottom of the ad was small compared to the size of the text “Missed Doge? Get Floki.” Therefore, the ASA said: “Despite the qualifying text, the overriding impression of the ad was the pressing need to buy floki, to prevent consumers losing out in the same way they could have done with dogecoin.”
The British advertising authority has been cracking down on misleading crypto ads. In December, the ASA banned seven crypto ads for Papa John’s Pizza, Coinbase, Kraken, Etoro, Luno, Coinburp, and Exmo.
In addition, the U.K. government announced in January its plans to impose new rules on cryptocurrency advertisements to “protect consumers from misleading claims.”