The team behind the meme-inspired cryptocurrency Floki Inu ($FLOKI) has responded to the controversy surrounding its ad campaign in London, labeling it an “attack against cryptocurrency and against the people’s freedom of choice.”
The cryptocurrency first started making headlines after its ad campaign on London’s public transport system went viral. The campaign featured the slogan Missed Doge? Get Floki” in a bid to “legitimize” the cryptocurrency and increase the “confidence of the average consumer” to buy it, according to the project’s head of marketing, which went by Sabre.
Floki Inu’s advertising budget comes from a 4% fee imposed on new buyers. The tokens are used for “onboarding influencers” and to “further develop and grow the Floki ecosystem.” The Financial Times reports the project’s marketing wallets have peaked at $3.5 million to spend.
The campaign triggered a cryptocurrency ad crackdown that saw London’s transport authority, Transport for London, reveal concerns about the ads as these were promoting a little-known, unregulated financial asset that they claim could be open to manipulation such as pump-and-dump schemes.
Speaking to The Guardian Sian Berry, the Green Party London Assembly member, said cryptocurrency ads should not have been approved and should have raised a red flag. Responding to the backlash, Floki Inu’s team told the BBC:
The attack against these ads by a certain political party is an attack against cryptocurrency and against the people’s freedom of choice – a clear attempt at censorship.
The ad campaign is now being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). According to the BBC, ASA is “reviewing a broad body of ads in this sector” to determine whether they break the rules. Floki Inu has said its ads were “legally cleared.”
The team behind the cryptocurrency pointed out that the ads included a “clear disclaimer highlighting the volatility of cryptocurrencies.” They noted part of the team is anonymous because it wants to be the people’s cryptocurrency and focus on its members instead of its team.
Floki Inu’s legal entity, it noted, is based in Georgia, a fact that was reportedly shared with “strategic partners” during know-your-customer checks.
Notably, TfL revealed it had not seen widespread complaints from the public about the cryptocurrency ads, and that it requires advertisers to mention cryptoassets are unregulated and may see their value fall.
The ASA told the news outlet it will be “assessing whether these ads break our rules and using our findings to inform our regulation in this area, including any follow-up enforcement action.” The ads, the ASA added, must “avoid jargon that can’t be easily understood by their audience or take advantage of their lack of experience” while also flagging risk.
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.
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