The Advertising Standards Council of India has released guidelines for the advertising and promotion of crypto assets and related services. “We had several rounds of discussion with the government, finance sector regulators, and industry stakeholders before framing these guidelines.”

India’s Crypto Ad Guidelines Published

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) published Wednesday “guidelines for advertising and promotion of virtual digital assets and services.”

The guidelines are applicable to all advertisements related to virtual digital assets (VDA) which are “commonly referred to as crypto or NFT [non-fungible token] products,” ASCI explained.

ASCI Chairman Subhash Kamath described:

We had several rounds of discussion with the government, finance sector regulators, and industry stakeholders before framing these guidelines.

Firstly, all crypto-related ads must carry the disclaimer that states: “Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions.” The guidelines explain how the disclaimer must be made to ensure that “it is prominent and unmissable by an average consumer,” India’s advertising authority noted.

Secondly, the guidelines detail:

The words ‘currency,’ ‘securities,’ ‘custodian,’ and ‘depositories’ may not be used in advertisements of VDA products or services as consumers associate these terms with regulated products.

In addition, ads may not feature a minor or someone who appears to be a minor.

Advertisements must neither claim to be a solution to money or other problems nor promise a guaranteed future increase in profits. “Information on past performance shall not be provided in any partial or biased manner. Returns for periods of less than 12 months shall not be included,” ASCI added.

Noting that ads should not downplay the risks associated with the asset class, the advertising watchdog wrote: “VDA products may not be compared to any other asset class which is regulated.”

The guidelines also address celebrity endorsement. “Celebrities or prominent personalities who appear in VDA advertisements must take special care to ensure that they have done their due diligence about the statements and claims made in the advertisement, so as not to mislead consumers,” ASCI said, elaborating:

The guidelines will be applicable to all advertisements released or published on or after the 1st of April 2022.

“Advertisers and media owners must also ensure that all earlier advertisements must not appear in the public domain unless they comply with the guidelines, post the 15th of April 2022,” ASCI noted.

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