Michael Owen Reprimanded for NFT Claims

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  • Ex-footballer Michael Owen has been told to delete a claim his NFTs “can’t lose their initial value”
  • Owen made the claim last month about his forthcoming collection, which featured his favourite goals
  • The UK’s advertising watchdog took umbrage at his claims and said it could mislead buyers

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United footballer Michael Owen has been reprimanded by the UK’s advertising watchdog after claiming his NFT collection “can’t lose their initial value”. Owen tweeted the claim last month, but the Advertising Standards Agency found it egregious enough to contact him to ask him to remove it, apparently because it might mislead buyers. Owen’s NFT collection came in the form of videos from him reminiscing upon his favourite goals during his career, while also giving initial buyers real-world benefits such as engraved watches and potential face to face meetings.

Owen Thumbed Nose at “Critics”

Owen tweeted about his NFT collection on May 9, thumbing his nose to the “critics” as he did so:

michael owen

And critics there were – the suggestion that his NFTs were loss-proof was immediately jumped on by those inside and outside the space, with many wondering exactly how this was possible and suggesting that it was simply a scam.

It was soon revealed how Owen’s NFT collection proposed such a feat – you can’t actually sell them under the minting price. The NFTs will only be able to be bought and sold through Owen’s NFT partner, Oceidon, who have put in place a mechanism where a seller can not part with their NFT for under what it cost to create the thing, no matter what the market value might actually be.

Holders Cannot Sell Below Minting Price

This mechanism is meant to encourage the value of the NFTs to remain above a certain threshold, but of course there is no guarantee that anyone will actually want to buy at that price. So in some ways Owen’s claim was right – the NFTs cannot sell for less than the original price – but that just means that buyers will be stuck with a useless, demand-free NFT that they can’t shift if market sentiment doesn’t support that valuation.

This, of course, was the crux of the Advertising Standards Agency’s problem, and they contacted Owen to remove the tweet, steering clear of a public statement on the matter.

Owen’s collection was initially set to launch on May 31st, but has been shifted to November to tie in with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.