- Transport for London said over the weekend that it ensures crypto ads adhere to their policies.
- “Missed Doge? Get Floki” posters surfaced throughout the city’s travel system, proclaiming the unregulated meme cryptocurrency.
- S iân Berry, a member of the Green Party in the London Assembly, told the British Guardian that crypto ads were unethical.
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The London Transport Authority is cracking down on ads for cryptocurrencies after the massive campaign to introduce dogecoin-spinoff floki inu around the city’s travel system sparked concern about unregulated assets like this.
“Missed Doge? Get Floki” was the slogan spray-painted on London Underground, trains and buses in October. The three-week campaign for meme token floki inu, inspired by Elon Musk’s dog, was even funded by a 4% marketing fee imposed on buyers.
Some critics were concerned about the fact that the ads promoted a little known and unregulated financial asset that they said could be open to manipulation, such as pump-and-dump schemes or fraud. So far there has been no evidence to suggest that floki inu has been subject to such schemes.
“Since 2018, we have asked our advertising partners to refer all cryptocurrency advertising to us for review before it runs on our property,” Chris Reader, head of commercial media at Transport for London (TfL), told Insider on Monday.
“When we review copy now from cryptocurrency brands that want to advertise on our property, we ensure that campaigns contain sufficient information to comply with both our policy and the ASA. [Advertising Standards Authority] order. “
A TfL spokesman clarified that the authority had already sharpened its stance on crypto-advertising and that this was not a development that had taken place over the past weekend.
TfL’s policy said that nothing controversial or sensitive can be announced on its platforms, among other things.
This is not the first time that a crypto advertiser has aroused controversy. Earlier this year, the crypto exchange Luno ran an advertising campaign in the underground and on London’s famous double-decker buses with the slogan “if you see bitcoin in the underground, it’s time to buy.” The UK Advertising Guard banned the posters, calling them “misleading and irresponsible”.
Speculative crypto-tokens are unregulated in the UK, and officials have regularly expressed their concerns about how risky they are. Charles Randell, chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, a regulator, said in a September speech: “If you buy (crypto), you should be prepared to lose all your money.”
“The FCA does not currently have the power to monitor how unregulated cryptocurrencies, such as floki inu, are advertised to consumers,” a spokesman for the regulator said in an email response.
A few weeks ago, scammers ran away with at least $ 2 million in a pump-and-dump scam involving the Squid Game token, which derives its name from the Netflix hit show but is not affiliated with it.
Floki inu is a legitimate cryptocurrency. But it had warnings on its posters about risks to potential buyers.
“Where the ad says ‘this is completely unregulated, you can lose all your money’, they should have considered. I do not think cryptocurrency ads should be on the network. They are unethical,” S iân Berry said the green party London Assemblyman for the British newspaper Guardian.
Experts have said that one way to check the legitimacy of a coin is to find out if it has different uses in the real world. According to the floki inu website, the coin will be linked to a game-for-earn gaming metavers called Valhalla, which is under development, as well as a non-fungible token marketplace.
This article has been updated to include comments from TfL that its review process had not changed over the last weekend and was already in place.