Thursday , June 20 2024

Authorities to investigate cryptocurrency platform ad at Westlife concert

The HCMC Department of Culture and Sports said it would investigate the display of an unauthorized cryptocurrency trading platform’s logo at the Westlife HCMC concerts.

Irish pop group Westlife performs in HCMC. Photo from AMO Vietnam Facebook

Irish pop group Westlife performs in HCMC. Photo from AMO Vietnam Facebook

Many of the concert audience said on Nov. 22, the second night of the event, the logo was featured on various items, including banderoles inside and outside the venue, fans and glow sticks distributed to attendees.

The local police were informed and they arrived at Thong Nhat Stadium after the show concluded to make a complaint.

Tran Thanh Vuong, a department official, said on Thursday the law does not recognize cryptocurrencies, and advertising their trading platforms is prohibited.

The department only licensed AMO Vietnam, which brought the Irish pop group Westlife for the concerts, to hold the event. AMO Vietnam did not apply for an advertising permit, he said.

The department is working with the police and other authorities to investigate and penalize the act, he said.

Advertising laws stipulate fines of VND10-15 million (US$412-$617) for failure to inform authorities about the subjects, places and times of advertisements.

Advertising banned products and services carry fines of VND70-100 million.

Responding to the allegations, Do Thu Giang of AMO Vietnam said the company would cooperate in the investigation. It did not work with any cryptocurrency trading platform or intentionally display the platform’s logo at the shows, she claimed.

AMO held a press conference on Nov. 23, where it claimed that the fans and glow sticks were distributed by third parties and had no connection with it.

The banderoles featuring the logo were prepared by Westlife’s Vietnamese fan club, and not AMO, it said. As soon as the logo was spotted, it had asked the fan club to censor the logo.

But this was not AMO’s first brush with controversy at the event, with many spectators also complaining about the last-minute addition of tickets for standees, restricted views of the stage, an irrational ticket map, and dirty seats.

AMO tendered an apology to the audiences.

Westlife is a holder of four Guinness World Records, including for the top selling group in the 21st century in the UK.

The band performed in HCMC on Nov. 21-22 as part of its “The Wild Dreams Tour.”

An estimated 30,000 people attended the two concerts.

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