Cryptocurrency Pays Price for Alleged Harm With Ad Ban

Advertising Law

Already the target of state and federal regulators, cryptocurrency is now being phased out of online advertising and social media.

Beginning in June, Google will change its financial services-related ad policy and block all ads for cryptocurrency. The company announced that its AdWords platform can no longer be used to advertise cryptocurrency-related products and services such as initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice.

The policy impacts ads for search, display and video, including YouTube.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution,” Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, told CNBC.

The move isn’t a total surprise, given recent pushback by regulators and Facebook with regard to cryptocurrency advertising. The social networking site banned advertisements for crypto-related and other speculative financial products as of January 2018, and expressed concern about “financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

To read Google’s blog post about the changes, click here.

Why it matters: Just a few days after Google’s announcement, news reports speculated that Twitter would be next to prohibit advertisements for initial coin offerings, token sales and cryptocurrency wallets on a global scale. Both Facebook and Google indicated that the ban wasn’t permanent and could change in the future.



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