The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against cryptocurrency exchange Coinfloor over a regional press ad for bitcoin (BTC).
The notice, which was published on 3. which was published in the Northamptonshire Telegraph in December 2020, was directed at pensioners, according to the complainant. He said the advertising was misleading and socially irresponsible.
The ad, titled It’s not sensible to leave your money in the bank, can be found at …… showed a photo of a 63-year-old woman describing her decision to convert part of her pension into bitcoins. The retiree pictured in the ad was quoted:
More and more people are realizing the saving power of bitcoin….. Today, there’s no point in keeping it in a bank – the interest rate is insulting […] That’s why, when I got my pension, I put a third in gold, a third in silver, and the rest in bitcoins.
The alleged Coinfloor customer in the ad even referred to bitcoin’s oft-quoted reputation as digital gold.
She continued: For me, bitcoin is digital gold, and it has allowed me to take steps to secure the money I already have….. With Coinfloor’s Autobuy service, buying and storing bitcoins has never been easier…..
The ad is misleading because it does not clearly point out the risks of investing in bitcoin, including loss of capital, and that neither Coinfloor Ltd nor the general bitcoin market in the UK is regulated.
The complaint in this case was upheld, with the ACA finding that Coinfloor had not adequately disclosed the volatility of bitcoin.
The ad also aimed to mislead the public by suggesting that buying bitcoins was a good or safe way to invest one’s savings or retirement.
The complaint was also granted on this point, with the court finding that Coinfloor portrayed bitcoin investments as safer than they actually are.
The Court concluded that the advertisement should not reappear in its current form. Any future publicity from Coinfloor should make clear that bitcoin investments can lose value, point out that Coinfloor Ltd and bitcoin are not regulated in the UK and not irresponsibly suggest that bitcoin is a safe investment for savings or pensions.
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