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Arsenal Reprimanded for Second Time for Fan Token Adverts

Reuters

Last Updated: August 11, 2022, 00:47 IST

London, England

Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes, shirt number 6, celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London, Sunday, May 22, 2022. (AP Photo/David Cliff)

Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes, shirt number 6, celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London, Sunday, May 22, 2022. (AP Photo/David Cliff)

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said that the two Socios ads posted on the club’s website and Facebook were ”misleading” and irresponsible” as the adverts had failed to make clear the tokens had to be bought with a cryptocurrency, taken advantage of fans’ inexperience and did not warn of the risk of trading crypto

Britain’s advertising watchdog upheld a ruling against Arsenal over their promotion of fan token company Socios on Wednesday, determining that the two ads posted on the club’s website and Facebook were ”misleading” and irresponsible”.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said the adverts had failed to make clear the tokens had to be bought with a cryptocurrency, taken advantage of fans’ inexperience and did not warn of the risk of trading crypto.

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Digital fan token firm Socios has deals with six Premier League clubs, including champions Manchester City, as well as Barcelona, Juventus, Paris St Germain and a host of top European teams.

Fan tokens allow supporters of football and other sports clubs to vote on minor decisions such as songs played at matches after a goal is scored, or images used on social media.

The tokens, which can be traded on exchanges like other cryptocurrencies, are prone to wild swings in price and often have little connection to on-field performance.

In a statement to the ASA, Arsenal argued that the polls were ”not a gimmick or a way to promote fan tokens as an investment opportunity, the polls were actually the purpose and essence of the fan tokens”.

The club added Socios was well known in the football community as a cryptocurrency platform which meant viewers of the ads would understand that fan tokens had to be bought with cryptocurrency.

The ASA upheld all sections of its December ruling.

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first published:August 11, 2022, 00:47 IST
last updated:August 11, 2022, 00:47 IST