The Advertising Stands Council of India (ASCI) has issued guidelines for virtual or crypto digital assets-related advertisements that will take effect from April 1 or later. The earlier advertisements cannot be published publicly unless they are in compliance with the guidelines.
The ASCI claimed that it had held numerous consults “with different stakeholders including government and the virtual digital asset industry” to develop the guidelines.
Guidelines: Crypto ads
The main guideline is that all crypto-related advertisements that promote VDA (virtual digital asset) products, VDA exchanges, or displaying VDAs to include the following statement: “Crypto products and NFTs are not regulated and could be extremely risky. There is no legal recourse in case of loss resulting that results from these transactions.”
In accordance with the guidelines, the terms “currency”, “securities”, “custodian” and “depositories” should not be used in advertising for VDA items or other services because consumers may associate these terms with products that are regulated.
The guidelines also require that the profitability or cost of VDA products should be adequate, clear, and current information. For instance, “zero cost” will require all the costs that a consumer may reasonably be able to associate with the deal or offer.
The guidelines stipulate for “returns for periods of less than 12 months shall not be included” in advertising in order to ensure the “information on past performance shall not be provided in any partial or biased manner.”
India’s advertising regulator believes that some of the advertisements that are based on crypto “do not adequately disclose the risks associated with such products.”
In November 2021 India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over an inquiry into the potential regulatory options for cryptocurrencies. there was a consensus that was reached to end “attempts to mislead the youth through over-promising and non-transparent advertising.”