The Indian government is still working on the framework for virtual digital assets, sometimes known as crypto or NFT products.
Over the last six months, there has been a lot of advertising for these items. Several of these advertisements, according to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), fail to fully explain the risks connected with such products.
To protect consumers’ interests and ensure that advertisements do not mislead or exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge about these products.
ASCI conducted extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including the government and the virtual digital asset industry, to develop guidelines for virtual digital asset advertising.
The following guidelines must be followed while advertising virtual digital assets and services:
All advertisements for VDA products, VDA exchanges, or VDAs must include the following disclaimer.
“Crypto goods and non-fiduciary tokens are unregulated and can be extremely dangerous.”
There could be no regulatory remedy for any losses incurred as a result of these transactions.”
The following is how such a disclaimer should be written such that it is PROMINENT and UNMISSABLE to the average consumer:
The Guidelines For Crpto To Be Followed
- In print or static, equal to at least 1/5 th of the advertising space at the bottom of the advertisement in an easy-to-read font, against a plain background, and to the maximum font size afforded by the space.
- In video, the disclaimer should be placed at the end of the advertisement against a plain background. A voice over must accompany the disclaimer in text.
- The voiceover should be at a normal speaking pace and must not be hurried. In the case of long format video of over two minutes, the said disclaimer should be repeated at the beginning and at the end of the video.
- The disclaimer must remain on screen for a minimum of five seconds.
- At the end of the audio commercial, the disclaimer must be spoken. The voiceover should not be rushed and should be delivered at a normal conversational cadence.
- The disclaimer should be repeated at the beginning and end of any long format audio that lasts more than 90 seconds.
- A disclaimer like this must be included in both the caption and any image or video files in social media posts.
- The disclaimer in the caption must appear at the top of the post. Where text in a static image is restricted in social media posts or adverts, the disclaimer must be included in the caption before the fold.
These guidelines interpret Chapter 1 of the ASCI code, specifically clauses 1.1, 1.4, and 1.5, which require ads to be truthful and not mislead consumers by implication, ambiguity, exaggeration, or omission, and are not framed in a way that abuses their trust or exploits their lack of knowledge, for virtual digital assets.
It’s vital to emphasise that these rules don’t imply legal recognition or endorsement of the industry or sector; that’s a question of government policy.
ASCI only allows for self-regulation of ad content that is allowed by law.