June 21st, 2012

UK Ad Regulator Warns Nike Footballers on Sponsor Tweets

By Susan Kuchinskas
ClickZ

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today said it told Nike U.K. to stop the sponsored tweets of footballers Jack Wilshere and Wayne Rooney. In January, the two players, both sponsored by Nike, tweeted using the #makeitcount hashtag. The Make It Count campaign, launched in April by the sports clothing manufacturer, promotes Nike Fuel, a suite of products to help people measure their athletic activities.

Releasing its decision, the ASA wrote, “Nike believed the tweets could be objectively viewed as marketing communications because of the presence of the Nike URL within the body of the tweets, which indicated that the tweets’ purpose was to direct followers to the Nike website.

The ASA provided examples of personal tweets by both footballers which did not contain the Nike URL and did not refer to their professional capacity as footballers. According to the ASA, Nike “said when viewed alongside each other, which was similar to the way followers would view a Twitter feed, they believed it was clear which were personal tweets and which were ads. They believed that the inclusion of the Nike URL, combined with the Nike campaign strap line #makeitcount, made sufficiently clear that those tweets were advertising.”

Read more: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/news/2185959/uk-regulator-warns-nike-footballers-sponsor-tweets

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