Wednesday, January 19

Arsenal Fan Token Advertising Suspended in UK | Bitcoin Portal

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (or ASA) banned two advertisements for Arsenal FC’s $AFC fan token, claiming that the football team was misleading fans about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

ASA said the ads “trivialized the investment in cryptoactives and took advantage of the customers’ lack of experience or gullibility” and “failed to illustrate the risk of the investment”, in addition to not making it clear that the token was a cryptoactive.

In response, Arsenal FC will seek an independent review of the ASA decision.

“We take our responsibility in marketing to our fans very seriously. We carefully consider communications to fans in relation to our promotions and provide information regarding financial risks,” a soccer team spokesperson told The Guardian.

According to Tim Payton, leader of Arsenal Supporters Trust, the team is not doing enough. He stated that Arsenal should have a “greater duty of responsibility towards their fans”.

Fan tokens

Amidst the controversy, football fan tokens have soared in popularity this year.

Fans of the world’s biggest football teams have spent more than $350 million on fan tokens.

According to the BBC, 24 clubs from the biggest European leagues (such as the Premier League in England and La Liga in Spain) have released fan tokens.

Most fan tokens are just club-specific cryptocurrencies, but others (like Manchester City) are also selling non-fungible tokens (or NFTs).

Socios, a company that is at the center of the fan token fever, has sold around £300 million of club coins so far.

Still, despite the growth of fan tokens, many football fans talked about the intrusion of cryptocurrencies into their beautiful sport.

“My knowledge of the cryptocurrency market is, to say the least, vague and I am likely an example of a large number of typical football supporters who are not traders in the crypto market,” West Ham FC fan Sue Watson told BBC.

“Some people are going to make a lot of money out of it, but it’s almost certainly not going to be the average football fan out there,” football writer Martin Calladine told the BBC.

In October, “This is Anfield”, an independent Liverpool FC-related news platform, published an article entitled “Why Liverpool FC must continue to avoid a fan token partnership with Socios”.

“It’s cryptocurrency trading masked by fan involvement. The presence of loyal fans provides a small amount of stability, but the value will fluctuate widely based on the actions of non-fan traders,” according to the article.

The ASA decision comes amid a major crackdown on cryptocurrency ads the agency considers a “crucial and proprietary area” for its oversight.

“Wherever we find problems, we’ll crack down a lot and quickly,” said Miles Lockwood, ASA’s director of complaints and investigations, in an interview with Financial Times.

*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co.



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