Indian Crypto Advertisers Give Cricket the Swerve This Season



Sports events are usually a major advertising opportunity for crypto platforms, but not this year. India’s top crypto firms have decided not to advertise in this year’s Twenty20 cricket Indian Premier League (IPL).

Nischal Shetty, chief executive of the Indian crypto exchange WazirX, says that the industry has collectively decided to show more responsibility towards crypto advertising. Last year, the industry went all out on promotion.

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Sidharth Sogani, founder and CEO of CREBACO, said advertisers spent close to Rs 50 lakh or $65,600 for a half-minute slot during popular matches, including the T20 World Cup. The total expenditure by crypto businesses during last year’s IPL was estimated to be Rs 40 crore (around $5.2 million).

Indian Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council behind the decision

The uncertainty surrounding crypto regulation in India has led to the decision by the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), media reports confirmed.

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“Given the current situation, it may be better for crypto exchanges to stay low-profile in their advertising on the IPL since the T20 tournament has such huge and high-profile appeal and reach. Besides, IPL has enough advertisers already,” Sam Balsara, chairman of advertising group Madison World, told The Economic Times.

Last month, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) issued a set of 12 guidelines around the promotion of virtual digital assets (VDA). The self-regulatory industry body announced that from April 1, advertisers would need to publish disclaimers on crypto advertisements warning that products are “unregulated and can be highly risky.”

Among many who criticized the promotions is venture capitalist Rajeev Mantri, who took to Twitter last year.

“Indian crypto exchanges have been very irresponsible in making absurd and outright false claims in their relentless ads. This nascent industry should be careful not to discredit themselves in the eyes of regulators in particular,” he said

The industry is being especially cautious as crypto continues to be discussed in India’s parliament

Crypto advertising in sport is, of course, nothing new. Crypto.com has just announced that it is to sponsor this year’s FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar. 

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