An analysis of the SC Decision in RBI Case
The Reserve Bank of India ('RBI') vide Circular - Prohibition on dealing in Virtual Currencies ('VCs') dated April 6, 2018 ('RBI Circular') ...
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has today issued guidelines for crypto advertisements. The self-regulatory body has noted that several of the crypto advertisements for virtual digital assets (VDA), commonly referred to as crypto or NFT products, do not adequately disclose the risks associated with such products. In order to safeguard consumer interest. ASCI in 2021 said it has started working on guidelines on advertising.
The issue of misleading crypto advertisements has been discussed inside the Parliament and at various forums by lawmakers. In November 2021, PM Modi expressed displeasure over the misleading advertisements by the industry.
There was consensus also that the steps taken in the field of cryptocurrency & related issues by the Govt will be progressive & forward-looking. Govt will continue to pro-actively engage with the experts and other stakeholders: Govt sources
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2021
ASCI said the guidelines are necessary to ensure that ads do not mislead or exploit consumers’ lack of expertise on these products. The advertising body said it has extensively consulted with different stakeholders, including the government and the virtual digital asset industry, to frame guidelines for virtual digital asset advertising.
All advertising for virtual digital assets and services needs to follow the following guidelines:
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 April 15, 2022.
Subhash Kamath, Chairman, ASCI, said: “We had several rounds of discussion with the government, finance sector regulators, and industry stakeholders before framing these guidelines. Advertising of virtual digital assets and services needs specific guidance, considering that this is a new and as yet an emerging way of investing. Hence, there is a need to make consumers aware of the risks and ask them to proceed with caution”.
Manisha Kapoor, Secretary General, ASCI, said: “We have seen a spate of advertising for virtual digital assets which could compromise consumer interest in the absence of some guardrails. Use of celebrities and high decibel advertising would attract consumers to these offerings, without full disclosure of the risks. Given that this is, as of now, an unregulated space, it is even more important for advertising to be upfront regarding the risks associated with these products. Globally, this is an emerging technology and products in the virtual digital asset industry have seen significant volatility. We believe with these guidelines, advertisements would be fairer and more transparent."
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