Michael Owen has been instructed by the UK advertising watchdog to delete a promotion for a controversial NFT scheme that he shared on his Twitter feed in May.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have informally scolded the former footballer for breaching rules about advertising cryptocurrency products and misleading customers.
“It comes after Owen posted a tweet following a partnership with crypto startup Oceidon. “Despite the critics, my NFTs will be the first ever that can’t lose their initial value,” Owen wrote in a tweet.”
Social media users were quick to accuse the ex-England player of misunderstanding basic economic principles by claiming investors cannot lose money by purchasing his digital collectibles.
Alan White, the editor in chief of Politics Home, responded with a meme suggesting that NFTs would only be unable to lose value if their initial value was zero.
Swooping to Owen’s defence, his NFT business partner Andy Green issued a clarification.
“Correct, we cannot guarantee or say that you cannot lose. There is always a chance. There is no such thing in life as no risk propositions. But what we can do is protect the collector as best we can and that’s what the floor price protection will do,” he said.
While the slap on the wrist from the ASA is not a formal ruling from the regulator, Owen and his team took the tweet down without further action being taken.
However, the ASA has dubbed adverts for digital assets a “red alert” priority area and a flurry of judgements have banned adverts which take advantage of investors’ inexperience and do not flag the risks associated with crypto.
But, it’s not just Owen; celebrities worldwide have landed themselves in hot water with followers for promoting crypto currencies on social media without making investors aware of the risks.
Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather are both being sued through the US courts for promoting the crypto currency Ethereum Max in an alleged pump and dump scheme.