Arsenal football club have been rebuked by the Advertising Standards Agency which today declared it had upheld its ruling against the club relating to fan token promotions.
The ASA said the Gunners had promoted a crypto investment without suitable warnings about the risks associated with it.
The club was slammed over two adverts for ‘fan tokens’ which, said the authority, had taken advantage of fans’ lack of knowledge in cryptocurrencies.
Today’s reprimand came following an appeal from the club against the ASA’s ruling over the original complaints in 2021.
Susannah Streeter, a senior investment and markets analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown said the ASA had cried foul on the club for not making it sufficiently clear that the value of investments in paid-for fan tokens was variable and that the crypto assets were unregulated.
‘’The Advertising Standards Authority is wearing the referee shirt in the high stakes game of crypto trading and has once again shown the red card to Arsenal football club for flogging tokens without high risk warnings attached,” she said.
It’s not the first time the ASA has censured the club for its crypto promotions. Late last year it banned the club’s posts on Facebook and its website which promoted ‘fan’ tokens as they took advantage of consumers’ inexperience in crypto assets and misled consumers.
“ASA officials are faced with the task of running the line, assessing every complaint against companies, but with scant other regulation governing crypto assets, and so many flags springing up it’s becoming an increasingly difficult play to monitor,” she continued.
“This ruling is another stark reminder that people should resist ploughing money into schemes they don’t fully understand and should only speculate with money they can afford to lose. It also highlights the need to speed up the plan to give the city watchdog – the Financial Conduct Authority more powers to regulate the crypto industry, given the government’s vision to make the UK a crypto hub.”
The analyst added that the rollercoaster ride is set to continue, given that the tokens are also highly sensitive to the fortunes of the stock market. Although some closely watched crypto assets have risen slightly in value in recent weeks, up from the lows reached in mid-June, Bitcoin and Ether are still down by around 65% since the heady heights reached in November last year.