Floki Inu Ad Campaign Banned in the U.K.
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Floki Inu Ad Campaign Banned in the U.K.

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Billboards for the memecoin had been plastered on London Underground trains and buses — accompanied by the caption: "MISSED DOGE? GET FLOKI."

Floki Inu Ad Campaign Banned in the U.K.

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An advert for Floki Inu have been banned in the U.K. after a regulator concluded that they violated advertising rules.

Billboards for the memecoin had been plastered on London Underground trains and buses — accompanied by the caption: "MISSED DOGE? GET FLOKI."

Although a disclaimer at the bottom did warn that investments can go down as well as up, and that cryptocurrencies are not regulated in Britain, the Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation amid concerns the promotion "exploited consumers' fears of missing out and trivialized investment in cryptocurrency."

According to the ASA, the adverts also had the potential to take advantage of "consumers' inexperience or credulity."

Floki Inu had sought to defend itself by claiming that it had intended to reach informed consumers who knew about the crypto market and were aware about Dogecoin. The project also rejected that the appearance of a cartoon dog (based on Elon Musk's dog Floki) amounted to trivializing an investment because this was its corporate logo.

The ASA took issue with these arguments — and said:

"While the specifics of the ad might not have been fully comprehended by those with limited or no knowledge of cryptocurrencies, the implication of the ad for all consumers was still that it was necessary to purchase Floki immediately to make a significant profit and prevent consumers missing out."

Floki Inu was also criticized for failing to make clear that capital gains tax may need to be paid on any profits made after selling a cryptocurrency. This could well be a requirement that other projects were not aware of until now.

What Happens Now

Floki Inu's ad was found to breach rules surrounding social responsibility and financial products — and cannot appear in the same form again.

Crypto ads have surged in the U.K. over recent months. And according to The Guardian, a whopping 40,000 ads were shown on London buses and trains between April and September 2021.

All of this has prompted politicians to call for an outright ban on crypto adverts — with some drawing comparisons to gambling.

Crypto businesses have expressed exasperation at what they believe is a lack of clarity over what can and can't be promoted — and the disclaimers that need to be included on an advert to ensure it is compliant.

Other countries have begun introducing tougher measures to protect consumers who see crypto adverts. In Spain, anyone planning to launch a mass advertising campaign targeting at least 100,000 people must get in touch with the National Securities Market Commission first — 10 days in advance.

Despite its aggressive advertising strategy, CoinMarketCap data shows FLOKI is only ranked #2861 in the list of the world's biggest cryptocurrencies. Those involved in the project claim the low ranking is because they are yet to be verified by CoinMarketCap.

The token was trading hands at $0.0002752 at the start of November 2021. However, FLOKI's current price stands at $0.00004412 — down by 84% compared with where it was just four months ago. As a result, most (if not all) of those who made an investment after seeing Floki Inu's ads would have ended up making a sizable loss.

Floki says that it denies the allegations put forward by the ASA — and "did its very best to be compliant before running these ads." A statement explained that it had sought guidance from the Committee of Advertising Practice, adding:

"At no point was it brought to Floki's attention by CAP that there was a requirement for consumers to be advised on the implications of Capital Gains Tax on investments in cryptocurrency. Had this been brought to Floki's attention, Floki would have followed such advice and included the information in their marketing campaign."

Floki said that it will "continue to advocate for its right to advertise its product" — and that it has not been prevented from running advertisements, just that specific marketng campaign.

Updated to reflect statement from Floki Inu.

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