Spanish influencers will have to stick to a strict code of conduct if they intend to push digital currency products on social media or via other platforms. The financial regulator has published a circular containing new rules for influencers that takes effect in February, and those who violate will face up to $340,000 in fines.
The circular, which the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) published on January 17, defines the rules on the format and content of promotional messages that individual influencers, or even firms, have to observe in two weeks’ time.
CNMV insists on responsible ads, which include “clear, balanced, fair and non-misleading content and information on the risks in a prominent manner.”
Influencers must put a warning on any digital asset advert that states, “Investments in crypto-assets are not regulated. They may not be appropriate for retail investors and the full amount invested may be lost.”
The new directive will target any influencer campaign that targets 100,000 people or more. It requires the advertiser to contact the CNMV at least 10 days in advance. The CNMV will also have oversight over the campaigns targeting fewer people, but those will not have to communicate in advance to the watchdog.
The new rules will apply to campaigns advertising digital assets, which have the nature of financial instruments, utility tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), whitepapers for new coin issuance, publications of analysts, and more.
CNMV started the process in 2021, subjecting the circular to two rounds of public consultation, one in June and the other in August. “The comments received have been borne in mind for the final draft of the Circular,” it said.
Spain’s directive comes at a time when digital currency advertisements have become a heated topic across the globe. In the U.S., several celebrities have found themselves in trouble for promoting scams, including comedian Kevin Hart, actor Steven Seagal, and music producer DJ Khaled.
The latest duo to find themselves in trouble is socialite Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather (not for the first time) over promoting a worthless token known as Ethereum Max. A New York investor sued the two, and former NBA star Paul Pierce, for promoting the project whose value has plummeted 97%.
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