The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the advertising industry's self-regulatory body, issued guidelines for ads related to crypto products and platforms on February 23. These guidelines come after crypto platforms last year spent several crores in showcasing ads in front-pages of leading newspapers and in marquee events like the Indian Premier League and T20 World Cup, but had to pause the ad blitz after being rebuked by the Indian government for promising wild profits and for promoting crypto amidst regulatory uncertainty. Following this, ASCI held discussions with the government in December last year to overhaul guidelines around crypto advertising. In laying out the guidelines, ASCI noted: "Even as the Indian government continues to work on the framework for virtual digital assets (VDA), commonly referred to as crypto or NFT products, advertising for these products has been very aggressive over the past few months. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) noted that several of these advertisements do not adequately disclose the risks associated with such products. In order to safeguard consumer interest, and to ensure that ads do not mislead or exploit consumers’ lack of expertise on these products, ASCI has extensively consulted with different stakeholders including government and the virtual digital asset industry – to frame guidelines for virtual digital asset advertising." The new guidelines go into effect on April 1, 2022 and all earlier advertisements must not appear in the public domain unless they comply with the guidelines. However, ASCI is a self-regulatory body and its guidelines are not…
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