When is a Tweet not a tweet? When its blatant advertising disguised as the views of one man.

The ASA have cracked down on Nike recently by banning its Twitter #makeithappen marketing campaign through Mr Wayne Rooney’s Twitter page.

The Tweet in question from Mr Rooney, said “My resolution – to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion….#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount”

The tweet, obviously crafted by an agency received only one complaint – I wonder which rival digital agency.

An advert or not an advert?

Celebrity endorsements are not new. And lots of big companies use them as a way of growing market share. But using Social Media platforms like Twitter and Facebook as vehicles to promote manufacturers messages – well we are in
unchartered waters here.

Nike’s #makeithappen Twitter campaign seems to have drawn a distinct line in the sand where celebrity endorsed Twitter advertising meets personal statements.

Witin the ASA’s judgement they noted that whilst there was key indicators such as the nike url, the makeithappen hashtag…

“…we considered that the Nike reference was not prominent and could be missed, consumers would not have already been aware of Nike’s “#makeitcount” campaign and that not all Twitter users would be aware of the footballers’ and their teams’ sponsorship deal with Nike. We considered there was nothing obvious in the tweets to indicate they were Nike marketing communications”.

The Advertising Code (CAP Code [Edition 12] rules 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4) states that adverts should be obviously identifiable.

Promoting Sponsorship

Let’s be clear. 99.9% of small businesses will not be affected by this announcement. However, at a local level, small businesses do support local causes and will sponsor campaigns, festivals and local minor celebrities. In these cases it is important that if you do tweet, you need to be clear that it is an advert. Add #Ad will help.

View the full Nike adjudication on the Advertising Standards Authority website.