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Cricket matches attracted highest cryptocurrency ad volumes on TV

The ad blitz may be slowing now after concerns were raised over non-transparency and misleading claims.

November 18, 2021 / 06:02 PM IST

Cryptocurrency advertisements, which are under increasing scrutiny, were aired prominently on TV channels this year, especially during the telecast of cricket tournaments.


Over 85 percent of the cryptocurrency advertisements aired on TV this year were on sports channels, according to AdEx India, a division of TAM Media Research, a television audience measurement analysis firm. News channels had a 6 percent ad volume share, while general entertainment and movie channels each had a 3 percent share.


Under sports, cricket was the most popular, garnering 84 percent of the cryptocurrency advertising this year, followed by soccer at 3 percent. On news channels, business news had 4 percent of the cryptocurrency ads.


Cryptocurrency is the newest fad and every crypto brand is trying to cash in on it, said N Chandramouli, CEO of TRA Research, a consumer analytics and brand insights company.


“They are likely to prefer all occasions where there is maximum viewership, and therefore cricket is their choice,” Chandramouli said.


The Indian Premier League, one of the biggest cricketing events, garnered 380 million viewers until match 35 during the 14th edition this year. Broadcaster Star India said viewership for IPL was 12 million higher than at the same stage during season 13.


This is probably why cryptocurrency platforms advertised the most during September and October, when the second phase of IPL 14 and the T20 World Cup were held.


In October, the share of crypto ad volumes swelled to 76 percent from 23 percent in September and 2 percent in July.


In terms of brands, Coinswitch Kuber topped the list of cryptocurrency advertising on TV with a 58 percent share. Other brands prominently advertised on TV were CoinDCX Go App (36 percent), Zebpay (5 percent) and WazirX (1 percent).


Regulatory uncertainty


The ad blitz seems to be easing now. Cryptocurrency platforms appear to be going slow on promotions after concerns were raised over non-transparent advertising that could be misleading.


“There is still a large regulatory uncertainty and if there is any regulation that limits cryptocurrency use, the ad volumes will fall disproportionately,” Chandramouli said.


According to reports, the Indian government is of the view that advertisements by cryptocurrency companies, exchanges and other entities that make tall claims and are not transparent need to stop.


“It is critical for the industry to quickly work out self-regulation in advertising to ensure that nowhere do the advertisements sound misleading or are perceived to be a medium for earning quick and easy money,” said Rameesh Kailasam, CEO of IndiaTech.org, a body representing the country’s tech startups and investors. “The advertisements should also contribute towards investor education.”


He said IndiaTech recommends that the industry work closely on advertising norms with agencies including the Advertising Standards Council of India.

Kailasam said the regulations that the government may propose should ideally include this aspect to ensure that advertising is allowed with adherence to an agreed code.

Maryam Farooqui
first published: Nov 18, 2021 06:02 pm

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