The UK’s advertisements regulator has banned an “irresponsible” Floki Inu ad campaign
The regulator says Floki Inu trivialised the risks of crypto investments
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has outlawed an ad campaign for Floki Inu, the meme coin named after a dog owned by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, for being in violation of advertising standards.
Reports of the meme coin’s advertisement go back to October last year. The Financial Times reported at the time that Floki Inu had launched a full-fledged marketing assault with an ad explosion in trains, buses, and London’s metro network.
“MISSED DOGE? GET FLOKI,” the ad read, alongside a picture of a cartoon dog brandishing a Viking helmet.
Floki Inu took advantage of consumer gullibility
The ASA says that the ad campaign took advantage of consumer naivety to target members of the general public who would likely not be aware of the risks involved with crypto investments.
Though the ad warned that crypto could “go down as well as up,” in relatively small writing, it elicited the fear of missing out on a booming crypto sector while playing down concerns on the potential risk of investment.
“We considered that the use of a cartoon imagery gave the impression that purchasing cryptocurrency was a light-hearted and trivial matter. As such, it distracted consumers from the seriousness of an investment which was volatile and unregulated,” the ASA argued.
However, according to Floki Inu, the ads targeted the informed user. It said that the print warnings would keep out the average consumer, and if not, the wordplay used on the ad would not resonate with them unless they did further research.
In response, the regulator maintained that though the ad targeted the informed consumer, crypto is a “high profile and topical matter.” With the ad directed to a public audience, the consumers would have likely interpreted the ad as a call for crypto investment.
Further, the ASA held that the ad slogan easily superseded the tagged warning due to its relatively small scale, thereby creating an overriding impression of not missing out on Floki Inu.
“We considered that the ad took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity. We, therefore, concluded the ad was irresponsible and breached the code. We told Floki Inu to ensure that they did not irresponsibly exploit consumers’ fear of missing out and trivialise investment in cryptocurrency,” the advertisement watchdog concluded.