Independent review finds Arsenal fan token promotions 'trivialized' investment in crypto

Quick Take

  • The initial complaint related to content published on Facebook and Arsenal’s website in August 2021 promoting its fan token $AFC.
  • An independent review, following an Advertising Standards Authority ruling, said Arsenal trivialized investment in cryptoassets and took advantage of people’s inexperience.

An independent review has upheld a UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling against football club Arsenal, over online advertisements for its fan tokens following an appeal from the club.

In a statement on Wednesday, the watchdog said Arsenal had trivialized investment in cryptoassets and encouraged consumers to engage in high-risk investments without, in the case of one ad, mentioning the risks of paid-for fan tokens. 

The complaint relates to content published on Facebook and the club’s website in August 2021 promoting its fan token $AFC. The token, which granted holders voting rights for certain club decisions, could only be purchased on the Socios app using the company’s cryptocurrency Chiliz.

Several companies have attracted the attention of the ASA for their crypto-related ads over the last year, including Kraken and Coinbase. The growing number of cases prompted the ASA to published guidance on crypto advertising in March that recommends companies make clear certain points about crypto assets, including that they are unregulated.

Arsenal told The Telegraph that they were disappointed with the result and had complied with the ASA’s guidance since the original ruling.

"We have been clear throughout that we take our responsibilities with regard to marketing to our supporters very seriously. In this situation we carefully considered the communications to supporters regarding our promotions and provided information regarding financial risks," said a spokesperson.

The price of Arsenal's $AFC token has waned from highs of $6.07 in November last year to $1.89 as of today, according to CoinMarketCap data.

CoinMarketCap $AFC data

$AFC fan token price chart since debut. Credit: CoinMarketCap


© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.