Arsenal’s Socios fan token ads banned by UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

The Facebook and website posts included a video featuring Gunners players Ben White, Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney and read: ‘Fans should be aware that they could lose some or all of their money invested. We advise you to spend only what you can afford and seek independent financial advice if required.’

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated whether the adverts took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity and trivialised investment in cryptoassets, failed to illustrate the risk of the investment and did not make clear the “token” was a cryptoasset, which could only be obtained by opening an account and exchanging with another cryptocurrency.

Arsenal said fan tokens were used to encourage fan participation and were different to cryptocurrencies, which were virtual currencies used as a means of payment.

The club said it promoted the tokens responsibly by reminding fans they only needed one token to vote in decisions, that they should only purchase what they could afford and urged buyers to seek independent financial advice if required.

The ASA said the Financial Conduct Authority categorised utility tokens as cryptoassets, which were a complex and sophisticated investment, subject to frequent change in value and one that could potentially lead to large losses.

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