ASA ban Nike twitter ad with Wayne Rooney
Nike are the first company in the UK to have an advertising campaign banned on Twitter after the ASA decided that their use of personal (notably Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere's) broke rules by not being obvious enough to be commercials.
The sportswear company have been promoting the 'Make It Count' strapline, and via Rooney's account, tweeters saw: "My resolution — to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion...#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount". Of course, now this has been banned, articles like this are giving Nike even more publicity.
Jack Wilshere did something similar, tweeting: In 2012, I will come back for my club — and be ready for my country.#makeitcount.gonike.me/Makeitcount". Of course, the ASA has had to deal with a similar situation before, when Rio Ferdinand among others used their personal accounts to promote Snickers.
Nike have argued that footballers are well-known to be massive cash-slags, so they don't think anyone has been misled at all. They added that the URL in the tweets were clearly branded as Nike, as well as carrying Nike's new strapline, so everyone should've known that they weren't personal tweets.
The ASA disagreed, pointing out that the content of the tweets was "agreed with the help of a member of the Nike marketing team" and that most Twitter users skim-read their feed and, as such, the adverts weren't obvious enough and broke the marketing code that states that ads must be "obviously identifiable".
"We considered that the Nike reference was not prominent and could be missed," said the ASA. "We considered there was nothing obvious in the tweets to indicate they were Nike marketing communications. In the absence of such an indication, for example #ad, we considered the tweets were not obviously identifiable as Nike marketing communications and therefore concluded they breached the [advertising] code. The ads must no longer appear. We told Nike to ensure that its advertising was obviously identifiable as such".