Transport for London (TfL) is being urged to stop allowing cryptocurrency ads on its public transport network.
The move comes after TfL ran a three-week poster campaign for crypto token Floki Inu, named after a dog owned by Tesla founder Elon Musk, and funded by an anonymous group.
In a question tabled to London mayor Sadiq Khan, Green party London Assembly member Siân Berry told The Guardian: “This should have raised a red flag and someone at TfL should have looked at this before it was approved. We have guidelines on junk food and on advertising.”
“Where the advert says, ‘this is completely unregulated, you may lose all your money’, they ought to have had second thoughts. I don’t think cryptocurrency ads should be on the network. They’re unethical,” she added.
Despite there being no evidence that Floki Inu is nefarious, critics are concerned that the ads are promoting an unregulated financial asset and fear manipulation such as pump and dump schemes or fraud.
“Since 2018, we have asked our advertising partners to refer all cryptocurrency advertising to us for review prior to it running on our estate,” TfL head of commercial media Chris Reader told Insider Monday.
“When reviewing copy now from cryptocurrency brands who wish to advertise on our estate, we ensure that campaigns contain sufficient information to comply with both our policy and the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) ruling.”
Earlier in the year, crypto company Luno also ran ads across TfL touting the slogan “if you’re seeing bitcoin on the underground, it’s time to buy,” with the UK’s watchdog later banning the posters dubbing them “misleading and irresponsible.”