Thursday, October 6, 2022

Arsenal censured by advertising watchdog over fan token promotion

Complaints against Arsenal’s promotion of ‘fan tokens’ have been upheld by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

Earlier this year, the club announced a partnership with Socios, who sell unregulated cryptocurrency in the guise of a fan engagement platform, and three specific issues were investigated.

They related to promotions on the official website, and on Facebook. The ASA challenged whether:

1. ads (a) and (b) were irresponsible because they took advantage of consumers’ inexperience or credulity and trivialised investment in cryptoassets;

2. ads (a) and (b) were misleading because they failed to illustrate the risk of the investment; and

3. ad (a) was misleading because it did not make clear the “token” was a cryptoasset, which could only be obtained by opening an account and exchanging with another cryptocurrency which had to be purchased.

All three complaints were upheld, the authority stating that, “the ads must not appear again in the form complained about.

“We told Arsenal Football Club PLC to ensure that their future ads did not trivialise investment in cryptoassets and did not irresponsibly take advantage of consumers’ lack of experience or credulity by not making clear that CGT could be due on cryptoasset profits.

We told them to ensure that they made sufficiently clear that the value of investments in cryptoassets was variable and cryptoassets were unregulated.

“We also told them to ensure that they did not mislead consumers by omitting material information in their ads, including that Fan Tokens were a cryptoasset that had to be bought using another cryptocurrency.”

Socios has become ubiquitous across European football of late, but there are those – such as @uglygame on Twitter – who consistently highlight issues that should be of concern to the clubs who have partnered with them.

For example, you don’t have to be an Arsenal fan to buy Arsenal tokens, so the whole platform is fundamentally flawed in that regard.

Ultimately, the monetisation of any fan base to provide the kind of ‘engagement’ that could and should be done for free is the main issue here.

If clubs genuinely want to give fans a voice, or let them influence certain non-key decisions, they could do that without making them pay for it, not to mention running the risk of losing their money in the process.

Be careful with your money folks.

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DefaultGray

Said at the time this was the sleaziest-looking thing I’ve ever seen us involved in, I hope this ruling makes us very urgently reconsider our business practices.

James

How could you have forgotten the club’s fantastic 2018 deal with Cashbet Coin?

Remember how well that went? No, me neither.

C.B.

They are called NFTs because they don’t exist as a tangible asset. Do we want to buy something like that? It’s a gamble and I’m against gambling, had a friend who ‘passed away’ as a result of gambling..

Mentalista

Socios use ERC20 which are fungible tokens.

Johnny 4 Hats

If you want to put your money in a currency which is about to crash then just hang on to your sterling fellas.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

“about to crash”?

Johnny 4 Hats

Sorry. I should have said ‘Spoiler Alert’.

Daveo

You selling futures on the pound Johnny?

The Only Olivier is Giroud

This whole concept is gross and cynical and I hope we salt the earth of it for good now. It won’t happen because greedy bastards gonna greed but I hope for our sake Arsenal stay out of these scsms going forward.

Nigel Summerburn (LB) #3

The ignorance in this comments section is unsurprising but still sad.
Slating and dismissing it because you dont understand is plain gnorant.
The sad part is not researching cryptocurrency and the platform in which they have partnered up via ERC20.
Just because you dont know hoe it works it doesn’t mean its a scam.
On the contrary, cryptocurrency

Rufusstan

People are slating it because its a bad idea, not because it involves cryptocurrency. The technology is proven (ERC20 and all), but its use in the tokens is just a money grab. By focusing on your (assumed) superior knowledge of the underlying technology, you’ve missed the point on how badly its being used here. It was sold to the clubs as a method of monetizing their foreign fans by giving them access to trivial decisions to give them a feeling of belonging. (something the clubs already have assured would happen for free. By the way, check their trustpilot ratings and… Read more »

Nigel Summerburn (LB) #3

Yeah actually lookng back on what I said, you’re right. I was just quick to get on the defensive regarding crypto and not paying attention to the actual sentiment that was made by you lot in the comments section.
When you look at to that way you all have valid points. It is a bit of a money grab.
On thing to note though, if the vale of your holdings go up on the tokens, you can always cash-in an make a little for yourself…
Anyway ‘hands held up’ and my apologies!!

jon

Blockchains could maybe be used for secure transactions. But secure transactions are not a big problem for consumers anyway. I don’t feel insecure when using my card in the shop.

The blockchain tokens/coins are symbols without intrinsic value. They are literally nothing, but still limited in numbers, to create a scarcity.

Come on, people! Is there really any scarcity of nothingness in the Universe?

Announce Bendtner

For a lot of us the issue isn’t that it’s a cryptocurrency but that the club allowed it itself to be involved in or used as a gimmick of fan interaction.

Hope the Club considers it’s reputation and expectations around how it handles itself and makes the correct decision.

ParteyPants

Exactly. I’m largely an advocate for cryptocurrencies but see no good reason for them to be used here.

Nigel Summerburn (LB) #3

The ignorance in this comments section is unsurprising but still sad. Slating and dismissing it because you dont understand is plain gnorant. The sad part is not researching cryptocurrency and the platform in which they have partnered up via ERC20. Just because you dont know hoe it works it doesn’t mean its a scam. On the contrary, cryptocurrency is the last chance saloon for the everyday citizen to generate any wealth for themselves and family before the governments finally roll out CBDC’s under the guize of cryptocurrency and then use said CBDC’s in a more sinister way to further tighten… Read more »

Old Stimmo

I have no idea about any of this but I have some snake oil going very reasonably at £500.00 a bottle

Nigel Summerburn (LB) #3

Fair enough… no point wasting time arguing against ignorance.

Onto positives…
Good game last night.

My stepson can say in the future that he was there when an 18 year old Charlie Patino made his debut and scored!! Great start to his career. Lets hope thr club take care of it well moving forward.

Tommmy

I was hoping to say the same but I’d left 1 minute before to get the tube haha

Cyril

We have all done that sometime!

Nigel Summerburn (LB) #3

Haha, We did the same but just saw the goal before getting to the bottom of the steps!!

jon

You buy absolutely nothing. But it is your absolutely nothing, yours alone.

Previously, football lived on the back of alcoholism. Now, it is stupidity.

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