Twitter Joins Google and FB with Cryptocurrency Ad Ban

By: Rani Molla

Twitter today confirmed that it too will be banning private ads for cryptocurrency sales and initial coin offerings. It joins Google, the world’s biggest online ad company, which announced earlier in March it would no longer show ads related to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. That move followed Facebook’s January ban on cryptocurrency and ICO ads, joining Chinese web giants Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, which haven’t allowed these kinds of ads for much longer.That means companies like Coinbase or Gemini, which serve as marketplaces and exchanges for virtual currencies, and advertisers promoting an ICO or encouraging the purchase of a particular cryptocurrency, are effectively shut out of 70 percent of the world’s digital ad market.

So where can cryptocurrencies — which currently have a combined market value of $310 billion — still advertise?

Microsoft, which owns search engine Bing, is the biggest ad platform to allow cryptocurrency ads. The company booked $6.97 billion in advertising revenue last year.

“We continually review our policies, and ongoing monitoring of this emerging model may lead to later changes that best meet the interests of our users, partners and network,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “In that context, we are currently evaluating our position on cryptocurrency advertising.”

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, however, states in its privacy policy that it bans ads related to the “sale of virtual currency.” LinkedIn will

be responsible for less than 20 percent of Microsoft’s ad revenue this year, according to eMarketer estimates.Snap also still shows cryptocurrency ads. Snap generated about $277 million in advertising, a 72 percent rise.

As always, there are exceptions.

Twitter will only allow cryptocurrency ads for exchanges and wallets provided by public companies listed on major stock exchanges – like Square. Note that crypto fan Jack Dorsey is CEO of both Twitter and Square.

While Snap allows cryptocurrencies ads, it bans ads for cryptocurrency ICOs. Here’s a recent ad for crypto investment advice:

Though Facebook banned ads for cryptocurrency “financial products and services” and ICOs, it still allows ads related to the industry, like the one below for an equity offering in Bitzumi, a cryptocurrency marketing platform. If the ad were for Bitzumi’s crypto exchange itself it would be prohibited, according to Facebook.

Oath, the Verizon-owned umbrella company that houses AOL and Yahoo, told Recode it doesn’t allow ads for ICOs or “specific currencies.” “We also don’t allow ads which are misleading or promote themselves as get-rich-quick schemes,” an Oath spokesperson said.