According to the Reuters report, Britain’s advertising watchdog rebuked soccer club Arsenal on Wednesday over website and Facebook ads of its “fan tokens,” a type of cryptocurrency that has exploded in popularity this year. The Advertising Standards Agency of the UK said two ads posted by Arsenal in August were “misleading” as they failed to make clear the risk of trading cryptocurrencies, of potential tax implications, or that such tokens are unregulated in Britain.
UK’s ASA bans fan tokens ads.
Fan tokens allow supporters of a variety of soccer and other sports clubs to vote on minor decisions such as the song played at matches after a goal is scored or images used on social media. The tokens, which can be traded on exchanges like other cryptocurrencies, are prone to wild swings in price and often have little connection to on-field performance. The English soccer club Arsenal ran promotions on its website and Facebook promoting the tokens, the ASA said, with details of how supporters could buy the tokens via a separate cryptocurrency.
Arsenal is seeking an independent review of the ruling.
An Arsenal spokesperson said they are seeking an independent review of the ruling and that it would “endeavor to comply” with the watchdog’s guidance. “We take our responsibilities with regard to marketing to our fans very seriously,” the spokesperson said. “We carefully considered the communications to fans regarding our promotions and provided information regarding financial risks,” the spokesperson added. Arsenal had told the ASA that fan tokens were designed to boost supporters’ participation and were “materially different” from other cryptocurrencies used as a means of payment.