5. Does the Regulation apply to advertisements for reputation marketing?

The Regulation does not apply to advertisements for reputation marketing. Reputation marketing ads are advertisements that are intended to enhance the general name recognition of a cryptoplatform, for example. A condition is that they do not refer to one or more virtual currencies or a category of virtual currencies.

If an advertisement is limited to mentioning the name or logo of a service provider (e.g. advertisements on a sports club’s shirts sold on a trading platform), then this is considered reputation marketing.

However, if the advertisement refers to a specific virtual currency or to virtual currencies as an investment category (e.g. 'buy virtual currencies', 'invest in virtual currencies', 'take your first steps as an investor in virtual currencies'), this constitutes an explicit encouragement to acquire virtual currencies and therefore the Regulation applies, even if this is the name or logo of a service provider.

Please note, running advertisements for reputation marketing in Belgium may well be an indication that a service provider is distributing virtual currencies through its platform to consumers in Belgium. See the FAQ 'When do we speak of distribution within Belgian territory?' in this regard. If virtual currencies are distributed in Belgium, then the Regulation does not apply to the advertisements for reputation marketing, but it does apply to the website and the app used to operate the platform.