Britain’s advertising authority has banned a promotion on the London Underground for Floki Inu, a cryptocurrency named after Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s dog.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority, the marketing program was “irresponsible” since it allegedly exploited customers’ lack of information about the potential risks associated with investing in crypto assets.
The advertisement, which first ran on the London Underground in November last year, portrays a cartoon dog donning a Viking helmet beside the words “Missed Doge?” “Find Floki.”
The ASA launched an inquiry over the ad campaign because it trivialized investment risk, exploited customers’ anxieties about “losing out” on the cryptocurrency boom, and preyed on their inexperience of the contentious financial instrument.
Floki Inu ‘Bites’ Back
Floki, which launched in June 2021, told the advertising regulator that their logo was critical to brand awareness and did not contribute to the “trivialization of investment in” the meme currency.
Floki Inu contended that the advertisement campaign was aimed at the “informed client,” and that the “ordinary customer” – who was unfamiliar with crypto investing – would be unlikely to engage.
Total crypto market cap at $1.88 trillion in the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
The company also pointed out that the “typical consumer” was safeguarded by the ad’s small print warnings and, in any event, would not grasp the in-joke and play on words in the slogan.”
However, ASA stated that the relative size of the cautionary small print compared to the advertising phrase conveyed to commuters the message that it was a must to purchase Floki Inu immediately to prevent missing out on significant gains.
Exploiting Consumers’ Naivety?
The ASA, which prohibited seven types of cryptocurrency marketing in December 2021, determined that the advertisement exploited consumers’ inexperience or credulity.
The Floki crew designed the advertisement in-house. Although there were no complaints, an ASA representative disclosed that cryptoassets were a “red alert priority area” and that the agency was monitoring ads in this arena on a proactive basis.
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The probe is part of the watchdog’s broader clampdown on cryptocurrency-related advertising, which is backed by the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.
Last November, lawmakers of the two parties urged Transport for London to halt accepting advertisements from cryptocurrency firms until the country’s financial authority issued fresh marketing recommendations.
Meanwhile, based on monitoring by CoinMarketCap data, Floki Inu is currently trading at $0.0000444. On November 4, it reached an all-time high of $0.0003437.
Featured image from The Guardian, chart from TradingView.com