Premier League Club Arsenal’s Fan Token Ads Banned By Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority

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Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a body that oversees advertising in the United Kingdom, is cracking down on non-compliant cryptocurrency advertisements. After an investigation by the ASA, Premier League football club Arsenal had their Fan Token ads banned.

Arsenal announced its intention to appeal against the ASA’s decision and stated that it had provided additional information regarding financial risks.

Earlier this year, Arsenal became one of the many football clubs to partner with sports blockchain firm Chiliz to launch a club Fan Token on the Socios.com fan engagement app. Socios.com are the creators of Fan Tokens. On August 12th of this year, Arsenal promoted its fan token AFC on its official Facebook page, which the ASA has banned for allegedly violating its advertising rules. The agency stated that the post did not highlight the risks involved in the investment.

In a separate instance, as reported by the BBC, the monitor claims that the topic of content on Arsenal’s official website — specifically, a page published on August 6, 2021, with the title “$AFC Fan Token: Everything you need to know” — violated advertising rules.

According to the ads watchdog, both commercials were irresponsible and took advantage of consumers’ lack of experience and knowledge while trivializing crypto investments. The BBC quoted an official from Arsenal Football Club that states, “We take our responsibilities to our fans seriously,” adding that they had evaluated all of the communications with the fans about offers and made available information on financial risks.

The latest regulatory actions by the ASA add to a number of similar decisions made earlier this year, as the body has been zealously pursuing and shutting down misleading cryptocurrency advertisements. The independent advertising authority recently removed a number of cryptocurrency-related ad campaigns for several major industry players, including crypto exchanges Coinbase and Kraken. It stated that the ads are “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment.”

In May, the ASA removed Luno exchange’s ad campaign, which was a picture of Bitcoin (BTC) used on subway posters stating, “If you’re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.”

Arsenal is one of several top-tier football clubs that have partnered with blockchain firms to create a fan token. West Ham United — another football club that competes in the English Premier League — also teamed up with Socios.com to launch their fan token in 2019.

In addition, Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich is no stranger to working with blockchain projects, having teamed up last fall with Stryking Entertainment to create digital collectibles of its players.

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