Crypto ads airing in South Africa must warn potential investors of the risks of digital assets, according to new guidelines by the country’s Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB), a self-regulatory body of the ad and public relations industry.

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Fast facts

  • Crypto ads “must expressly and clearly state that investing in crypto assets may result in the loss of capital as the value is variable and can go up as well as down,” said the ARB guidance revealed on Monday. 
  • The ARB also seeks to tighten the rules on social media influencers and crypto ambassadors, stating that they should only share factual information and avoid providing trading advice and promising investment returns.
  • Late last year, US celebrity Kim Kardashian was fined US$1.26 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for promoting a crypto project without disclosing her compensation for the endorsement.
  • Celebrities such as American football star Tom Brady and Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka are also facing lawsuits for their advocacy of Sam Bankman-Fried’s now-bankrupt FTX exchange, which trapped the funds of over nine million customers. 
  • Along with South Africa, the UK has also proposed legislation to limit crypto promotion and advertisement.

See related article: Thailand mandates warnings on crypto ads