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Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the Nike reference could be missed by users and  that the tweets should be withdrawn.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


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Mark Ritson

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