The UK advertising watchdog investigates the “attack” of Floki’s marketing against London transport.
The UK advertising agency is investigating the marketing of “coin meme” Floki Inu, on London trains and buses, as the city government faces increasing pressure to set stricter limits on cryptoactive promotions on public transport.
News of the ASA investigation comes just days after Sian Berry, a member of the London Green Party, called for a ban on cryptocurrency advertisements on London’s public transport.
“I don’t think cryptocurrency ads should be on the transport network. They are unethical,” he said.
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had opened a formal investigation into whether promotions for the Floki Inu, a digital currency inspired by Elon Musk’s dog, violated UK marketing standards.
“Although I cannot go into details at this time, I can confirm that we are investigating Floki Inu,” an ASA spokesperson said.
Floki Inu’s marketing campaign appeared across the UK capital’s transport system last month, with ads featuring the slogan “Lost Doge? Get Floki ”spread in subway stations and trains, as well as on buses. The campaign, one of several launched by digital token operators on TfL’s services this year, highlights how crypto appliances are trying to tap into the growing enthusiasm for trading in digital assets.
Most cryptocurrency advertisements fall outside the scope of the specialized UK rules for advertising financial products overseen by the FCA and are instead overseen by the ASA, an industry self-regulatory body.
Floki Inu said that:
“Ads in London comply with all laws and regulations. They were approved by the legal department and by the regulatory agency that implements them.”
You can’t be too careful.
TfL said that all cryptoactive ads are already subject to extra review and must contain disclaimers, and that Floki’s ads were released by a copy advisory service run by sister organization ASA, the Advertising Practice Committee . The service allows advertisers to “check how your potential unbroadcast ads comply.” with the relevant marketing rules, according to ASA.
Two conservative members said the TfL should continue with its current approach.
“It’s tempting to ban things when you think people might come to the wrong decision, but if you remove the agency from the adults, you’re going to be childish for them,” said assembly member Andrew Boff.