Crypto exchange’s ‘irresponsible’ Bitcoin ad targeted retirees, says watchdog

Bitcoin advert tag

Advertising regulators have banned an advert by UK-based crypto exchange Coinfloor, calling it “socially irresponsible” and “misleading.”

The ad, which ran with the headline “There is no point keeping your money in the bank…” featured a supposed 63-year-old Coinfloor customer explaining why she’d used the platform to put a third of her pension into Bitcoin.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld two reader complaints for:

  • Failing to make clear the risks associated with Bitcoin investments.
  • Suggesting that purchasing Bitcoin was a good or secure way to invest savings or a pension.

Coinfloor’s ad, which had appeared in regional UK print publications since December, was also criticised for targeting retirees — who aren’t necessarily as clued up about crypto as other demographics.

A Bitcoin ad for the elderly, what could go wrong?

Coinfloor claimed the ad represented the views of one of its customers, rather than the company. It also said it had provided information about potential risks.

However, the ASA noted Coinfloor’s disclaimer at the bottom of the page didn’t do enough to counteract the ad’s message.

According to the BBC, the supposed Coinfloor user from the advert said:

  • “Today there is no point keeping it in the bank – the interest rates are insulting.”
  • “That is why when I received my pension, I put a third of it into gold, a third of it into silver and the remainder into Bitcoin.”
  • “To me, Bitcoin is digital gold and it has allowed me to take the steps to secure the cash I already have.”

Coinfloor’s chief exec Obi Nwosu told the BBC he was disappointed with the ASA’s decision. Nwosu also claimed the company will consult the ASA on future ads.

[Read more: Crypto exchange sells Bitcoin for 90% discount, threatens to sue buyers]

Crypto advertising is often far from straightforward. In 2018, Google banned Bitcoin ads to combat scams that sprung up around its surging price at the time.

The Big G however scrapped large parts of the ban months later — a decision attributed to Bitcoin’s increasing popularity and anticipated adoption.

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