Celebrities should do due diligence regarding claims in crypto ads: ASCI

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani /Shishir Sinha | | Updated on: May 17, 2022

Since crypto products are unregulated, celebrities need to ensure they don’t feature in misleading ads

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Tuesday stressed celebrities should be “circumspect” while endorsing crypto products or virtual digital assets and take special care that claims made in such ads are not misleading. 

This statement comes after  BusinessLine on Monday wrote that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recommended  that no ‘prominent public figures, including celebrities, sportsmen’ should endorse crypto products . The Finance Ministry had asked the regulator to give its views on the issue of advertisements of crypto products and had also sent them guidelines issued by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), as per sources. 

“Given that crypto products are unregulated, prominent public figures including celebrities should be circumspect while endorsing/advertising crypto products,” said Manisha Kapoor, Secretary General, ASCI. 

She added that ASCI has a specific guideline on celebrities and also on advertising of virtual digital assets and linked services. 

“We have always maintained that celebrities need to do their due diligence on the claims they endorse. The Consumer Protection Act, too, lays down penalities for endorsers in  case the ad they feature in is found misleading, and if they have done no due diligence,” the statement added. 

The self-regulatory industry body reiterated that since virtual digital assets are a “risky category”, celebrities or prominent personalities who appear in such advertisements “must take special care” to ensure they have done their due diligence about the statements and claims made in the advertisement “so as not to mislead consumers.”

 “Endorsers may not have domain expertise but they must take the effort to do due diligence as part of their responsibilities,” Kapoor added . 

Published on May 17, 2022
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