India’s Advertising regulatory council, “The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)” has published a list of criteria and procedures to guide the running of adverts relating to crypto and NFT assets.
According to the ASCI, advertisements for Virtual Digital Assets (VDA) have been aggressive over the past few months. Even though the Indian government is still working on creating a framework of guidelines and regulations for the VDAs. However, the ASCI notes that most of these adverts do not divulge fully the risks involved in those assets; hence the need for their intervention.
In addition to their other duties, the ASCI protects consumers and prevents misleading adverts from exploiting prospective investors who have little or no knowledge about the assets. After various consultations with the government and other stakeholders in the Virtual Digital Assets industry; the ASCI has come up with the following criteria.
Guidelines for Advertising Virtual Digital Assets in India
However, before India’s advertising regulatory body, the ASCI would accept any advert related to Virtual Digital Assets, it has to be under the following parameters:
The disclaimer “Crypto Products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions.” – must be included in every advert featuring anything related to VDAs; directly or indirectly. They must publish or announce the disclaimer in a way that makes it impossible for the audience to miss.
Adverts containing Virtual Digital Assets should not use the words “currency”, ” securities”, “custodian”, and “depositories” in their content; as VDAs are yet to be regulated, to avoid misleading consumers into thinking they have.
Also, contents and information in VDA adverts should always be in line with the latest procedures of guidelines from the regulators. They shouldn’t negate the information given to consumers by the regulators.
VDA adverts should contain sufficient and updated information for the consumers including the costs and charges.
The advertisers should not lure customers with partial information on the assets’ past performance.
All adverts would contain the advertiser’s details, including their contact information. The adverts shouldn’t make promises of an increase in profits.
The advertisers would not compare VDAs to other regulated assets.
Also, celebrities and public figures should do their research before appearing in such adverts.
Schedule for the guidelines
The guidelines will apply to all VDA related adverts, starting from April 1. The ASCI also pleads to advertisers not to broadcast or publish any VDA ads that do not follow these guidelines – from April 15 onwards.