‘Celebs Endorsing Crypto in Ads Need to do Due Diligence’

Top-tier celebrities endorsing cryptocurrencies need to do their due diligence when backing a claim over the new financial asset in ads or they could be held account-able for it, Subhash Kamath, chairman of the advertising council of India told ET. This comes amid the ad blitz by crypto unicorns Coinswitch Kuber, CoinDCX and others during the ongoing T20 world Cup, one of the most-watched sporting events.

The advertisements, especially during the India-Pakistan match on Sunday, led to many debates online whether these ads came with adequate risk disclaimers with some like BitBns equating it to fixed deposit returns.

“Cryptocurrency is a very new concept and not everyone understands it fully yet. So, celebrities really need to do their due diligence when backing a claim. Because if it’s found misleading, they can be held account-able for it,” Kamath told ET, referring to the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 that came into effect last year. The new law casts a duty upon the person advertising a product or service (endorser) to ensure that the claims are not false or misleading.

Crypto platforms flush with risk capital have been roping in top celebrities like Ranveer Singh and Ayushmann Khurrana to advertise crypto trading in India, which has about 15-20 million users.

“Celebrities command a huge amount of faith and trust from their followers and fans. When it comes to something like financial instruments and investment, it is something celebrities should be careful about,” Kamath said. S-ET

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