The Advertising Standards Council of India (“ASCI”) has released guidelines for the advertisement of virtual digital assets and services (“ASCI Guidelines”). The ASCI Guidelines are to be applicable to all advertisements released or published on or after April 1, 2022. The ASCI Guidelines, inter-alia, require that advertisements relating to virtual digital asset (“VDA”) products or services-
- carry a prominent disclaimer as per specifications provided in the ASCI Guidelines, in the dominant language of the advertisement stating – ‘Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions’;
- not use the words ‘currency’, ‘securities’, ‘custodian’ and ‘depositories’ as consumers may associate these terms with regulated products;
- not contain statements that promise or guarantee future increase in profits or any information that downplays the risks of dealing in VDAs and ensure that accurate information on the cost, past performance or profitability of VDA products are provided;
- not show a minor/individual who appears to be a minor, directly dealing with the VDA product, or talking about the VDA product;
- not contradict the information or warnings provided by regulated entities while marketing the VDA products;
- clearly state the name and contact details of the advertiser in a manner that is easily understandable by the average consumer; and
- not compare the VDA products/services to any other regulated asset class.
Further, advertisers and media owners are required to ensure that earlier advertisements that are in non-compliance with the ASCI Guidelines do not appear in the public domain after April 15, 2022, unless they have been suitably modified to comply with ASCI Guidelines.
Additionally, celebrities and known personalities who appear in such advertisements must do their due diligence about the statements and claims made in the advertisements so as not to mislead consumers.
Disclaimer: This article is meant for information purpose only and does not purport to be advice or opinion, legal or otherwise, whatsoever. Pioneer Legal does not intend to advertise its service through this article.