27. January 2023

New Crypto Advertising Guidelines in South Africa for Consumer Protection

• South Africa has introduced new guidelines to its Advertising Regulatory Board, aimed at protecting consumers from unethical crypto advertisements.
• The new guidelines mandate companies and individuals dealing with cryptocurrency products and services in South Africa to abide by Section III of the country’s advertising code.
• Crypto advertisements must include a well-detailed and “easily understandable” manner of explanation for the targeted audiences, and must not be sugar-coated or deny warnings related to potential investment losses.

The South African Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) recently released a new code of advertising practice, introducing some new guidelines aimed at the crypto advertisements sector. The new guidelines, which refer to companies and individuals dealing with cryptocurrency products and services in South Africa, are in place to protect consumers from any unethical advertising practices.

The guidelines mandate that crypto advertisements must “expressly and clearly state that investments may result in the loss of capital as the value is variable and can go up as well as down.” This is to ensure that investors are aware of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrency and to make sure that they are not promised returns that are too good to be true. The adverts must also include a well-detailed and “easily understandable” manner of explanation for the targeted audiences so that they can make informed decisions.

In addition, the ARB has made it clear that any crypto adverts must not be sugar-coated or deny warnings related to potential investment losses. This is to ensure that consumers are not mislead into believing that investments in cryptocurrency are risk-free, when in fact they are not. Furthermore, the adverts must include balanced messages around returns, features, benefits, and risks related to the associated product or service.

The introduction of these new guidelines is a step in the right direction for the cryptocurrency industry, as it helps to ensure that consumers are protected from any unethical or misleading advertising practices. This will help to promote a healthy and safe investment environment for consumers, encouraging more people to get involved in the cryptocurrency market.