The Moscow OFAS Russia, which is the Federal AntiMonopoly service in Russia, has ruled that eToro and Google ads have violated the legislation of the Russian federation on advertising and have pulled up both companies for the same.
The complaint relates to the placing of an eToro ad on Google network that states:
“eToro is the largest in the world | social platforms … over 12 million people worldwide have discovered successful investing with eToro. Stock.oil.crypto.bond.currency.gold. Services: 100% shares with 0% commission, 24/7 support service. Copy-trading … “.
The OFAS has ruled that this ad is highly misleading and sees signs of violation as it makes incorrect comparison of the advertised product with similar products of other manufacturers. It further says that the ad contains false information comparing the eToro product with other products of other manufacturers that are currently in circulation.
It also says that that the ad advertises the services of the company that does not have a license to operate with the Bank of Russia. This has been a long standing complaint with many of the ad services that exist on the internet.
It is very difficult for the regulators and others to control what appears on ads in each and every website around the world. The possibilities are endless and hence, many brokers advertise their services in countries even though their services may not be allowed in that country. The regulators do their best but it takes time and only those ads that get reported are taken down.
Even in this case, the OFAS mentions that Google LLC does not have details of who had given such an ad and so both eToro and Google Ads have to be taken to task and no action can be taken on the actual person who gave such an ad. This is yet another example of how difficult it is to control the online ad industry and users can be pretty sure that such ads would reappear in the same websites within a matter of months.
The responsibility should be shared by the users and viewers as well as they need to do their due diligence with brokers and their services to ensure that they check whether such services are legal in their country. They could also walk the extra mile and report such ads which do not conform with the advertising standards in their country.