Indian advertising watchdogs releases guidelines on crypto and digital assets ads

India's advertising watchdog had been framing guidelines for virtual digital assets

Indian advertising watchdogs releases guidelines on crypto and digital assets ads

The advertising Stands Council of India (ASCI) has published guidelines for crypto or virtual digital assets-related advertisement, which will be applicable after 1st April. Before advertisements must not appear in the public domain unless they comply with the new policies after April 15, 2022.

The ASCI expressed that it held comprehensive consultations "with different stakeholders including government and the virtual digital asset industry" to formulate the guidelines. 

The primary guideline needs all ads for VDA (Virtual digital asset) products and VDA exchanges or featuring VDA's, to carry the following disclaimer: "Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky" There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions."

Five key takeaways from the official Indian crypto ads guideline

Let us look at five key takeaways from the guidelines that would detainment to the future of content in advertisements of the crypto firms. 

 1. All crypto advertisements post-April 22 must add a disclaimer to explain crypto and NFT products are unregulated and "can be highly risky" The disclaimer must be shown in all dominant languages. 

 2. It is not allowed to compare a crypto asset to the regulated assets in the ad. 

 3. Crypto ads must retain from using "currency," "securities," "custodian," and "depositories" may not be used in advertisements of VDA products or services as consumers associate these terms with regulated products or services.

 4. Crypto advertisements shouldn't portray their products as a solution to money problems in any way or form.

 5. Crypto advertisements talking about profitability must contain clear, accurate, sufficient and updated information.

The guidelines also see that cost or profitability of VDA products shall contain clear, accurate, sufficient, and updated information like "zero cost" will need to include all costs that the consumer might be reasonably associated with the offer or transaction. 

The guidelines include a requirement that "returns for periods of less than 12 months shall not be included" in advertisements to make sure that "information on past performance shall not be provided in any partial or biased manner."

India's advertising protection accepted that several of the crypto-related promotions "do not enough disclose the risks associated with such products."

In November 2021, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to consider regulatory prospects of cryptocurrencies where a report announced a strong consensus was reached to stop "attempts to mislead the youth through over-promising and non-transparent advertising"

Read: Indian government provides little legal clarity for crypto tax to traders and exchanges