Arsenal FC Receives Reprimand from ASA for Its ‘Misleading’ Fan Token Advert

UTC by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Arsenal FC Receives Reprimand from ASA for Its ‘Misleading’ Fan Token Advert
Photo: Unsplash

According to the football club, the underlying motive to promote its fan token was well-thought-out and in consideration of the protection of its fans both in the UK and globally.

The United Kingdom Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reprimanded English football club, Arsenal FC for allegedly “misleading” its global fans with respect to the advertisements of its fan token, AFC. As reported by Decrypt, the advert regulator maintained that Arsenal did not give the right exposition to tell its fans that its tokens are indeed cryptocurrencies, thus, preparing their minds towards any potential risks.

The Arsenal Fan Token was launched in partnership with Socios back in July, riding on the back of similar successful fan token launches the platform has recorded with other big clubs including Juventus, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-German amongst others. In order to promote the token and create a global awareness for it, the football club launched an advert on Facebook as well as on its website on August 12 and August 6 respectively. According to the advert, Arsenal said access to the token will give holders the opportunity to choose the song that will be played should the club play a match that ends in victory in its favor.

Despite the website ad version claiming to tell fans “Everything you need to know” about the token, the ASA maintains that the football club acted irresponsibly by trivializing investment in crypto assets and failing to illustrate the investment risk.

The regulator posited that Arsenal made other careless assumptions as it published the adverts in hopes that its fans will already know how the tokens are supposed to operate. According to the ASA;

“Arsenal believed that Fan Tokens and their relationship with cryptocurrency was widely understood by the target audience, as followers of the Arsenal Facebook page,” pointing out that the first Ad “was one of a series of promotional posts about the Fan Engagement Programme, which they said made it clear that, with the exception of the free non-tradable Fan Tokens gifted to members, all Fan Tokens had to be purchased by buying the cryptocurrency, Chiliz. In addition, they said that the Socios app itself was clear that the purchase of Fan Tokens could only be made by buying Chiliz currency.”

Arsenal Defends Its Views per Its Fan Token Awareness Push

According to the football club, the underlying motive to promote its fan token was well-thought-out and in consideration of the protection of its fans both in the UK and globally.

“We take our responsibilities with regard to marketing to our fans very seriously. We carefully considered the communications to fans regarding our promotions and provided information regarding financial risks,” a spokesperson for the soccer club told The Guardian.

Despite its defense, the ASA said it has mandated the football club to remove the adverts from the medium they were first published on, and “to ensure that their future ads did not trivialize investment in crypto assets and did not irresponsibly take advantage of consumers’ lack of experience or credulity by not making clear that CGT could be due on cryptoasset profits.”

The verdict models the regulator’s current position on advertisements involving digital currencies. Beyond the ASA, regulators in order countries, particularly France, have frowned at crypto ads that do not reveal the exact risks inherent in transactions in digital currencies.

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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