The British authorities have reportedly urged Transport for London (TfL) to stop allowing cryptocurrency ads on its infrastructure. The move comes after Floki Inu – a meme coin named after Elon Musk’s puppy – was advertised on the city’s underground stations, buses, and trains for the last couple of weeks.
Crypto Ads Are ‘Unethical’
“Missed Doge? Get Floki” – this was the slogan that appeared on some of London’s underground stations at the end of last month. Promising to spend $1.5 million on marketing the token, the team behind the memecoin Floki Inu raised hopes to increase the overall engagement of the broader British society.
Despite the asset’s recent price appreciation, many consider it a speculative digital currency lacking proper regulation. Moreover, advertising it openly around one of the largest cities in Europe could result in losses for people who are not aware of the potential risks in the digital asset industry, and more specifically, dealing with meme coins.
As such, London’s transport authority – TfL – has decided to crack down on those ads, according to recent reports. Chris Reader – Head of commercial media at the local government body – assured that cryptocurrency brands who wish to advertise their product will now have to pass a thorough investigation before their token gets displayed around the city:
“We ensure that campaigns contain sufficient information to comply with both our policy and the ASA [Advertising Standards Authority] ruling.”
TfL’s policy added that nothing sensitive or dubious could be advertised on its platforms, hinting about the controversial nature of meme coins like Floki Inu.
Sian Berry – the Green Party London Assembly member – also spoke on the matter, opining that cryptocurrency ads are “unethical.” She said digital assets in the United Kingdom are unregulated, and individuals “may lose all their money” if they enter the market.
The Rise of Floki
Meme coins are, by all means, a controversial side of the digital asset industry. Their value against the dollar can surge by double or even triple digits overnight, mainly because a famous individual creates hype around them. At the same time, investing in them can lead to serious losses to investors who are not prepared for their unexpected swings.
When speaking about meme coins, one can not surpass Dogecoin. Created as a joke in 2013, the token surged in popularity this year. Interestingly, the mind-blowing demand was fueled by celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and, of course, Elon Musk.
Shortly after Dogecoin’s success, many other copycats started flooding the cryptocurrency space. One of them (Floki Inu) was particularly interesting just because it had something in common with Elon Musk’s dog.
And, like before, when a digital asset has any connection whatsoever with Tesla’s CEO, it skyrockets to an all-time high. Floki Inu’s price currently stands at $0.000225, as it has slightly retreated from its last registered ATH on November 5th.
No More Luno Ads as Well
This is not the first time an advert for digital assets has popped up in England’s capital. Earlier this year, as CryptoPotato reported, the cryptocurrency application Luno grabbed the attention of the British regulators by displaying the following statement around the public transport network: “If you are seeing Bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was quick to react and banned the ads. The watchdog warned that such marketing endorsements could lure inexperienced investors in without realizing the potential risks:
“We concluded that the ad irresponsibly suggested that engaging in Bitcoin investment through Luno was straightforward and easy, particularly given that the audience is addressed, the general public, were likely to be inexperienced in their understanding of cryptocurrencies.”