Nike given red card for Rooney tweets

A Nike Twitter campaign featuring tweets sent by Nike brand ambassadors Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere has become the first activity on the social network to be banned, a move that some industry observers say could change the way that brands use Twitter.


The Advertising Standards Authority says the sports brand did not make it clear that the tweets were part of a marketing campaign. Tweets included the England striker writing: “My resolution – to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion…#makeitcount and link”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the Nike reference could be missed by users and  that the tweets should be withdrawn. Advertising law experts say the ruling provides brands with clearer guidance on how to leverage the social media platform in their marketing.

Nike argued that the tweets were clearly a marketing communications because they included the Nike URL within the body of the tweets.

Nina Best, specialist in advertising law at Browne Jacobsen, says: ‘Brands will start to offer full disclosure as part of their Twitter marketing efforts more frequently now. hashtags like #spon are only five characters at the end of the tweet that arguably allow it to still be part of what social networking is about because its short.”

A Snickers Twitter campaign that featured out of character tweets by Rio Ferdinand was cleared by the ASA in January because it included #spon.

Alex Scott, senior public affairs executive at the IAB, says brands will need to be clearly about what is an advert

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here