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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nike Campaign Got Banned on Twitter

Nike has become the first organization in the United Kingdom whose Twitter campaign got banned. The international giant was hauled up in front of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) when footballers Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere didn’t clarify their tweets were adverts for Nike.

Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere have a sponsorship contract, according to which they promote different campaigns with the brand. Meanwhile, the advertising campaign in question appeared to be a part of a wider marketing push within the frames of the Make It Count advertising strapline.

The footballers tweeted “My resolution – to start the year as a champion and finish it as a champion ... #makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount” (Rooney, 4.37 million followers), and “Jack Wilshere stated in 2012, I will come back for my club – and be ready for my country. #makeitcount.gonike.me/Makeitcount” (Wilshere).

The Advertising Standards Authority took a decision to step in after a member of the public challenged whether these posts were undoubtedly regarded as marketing communications. ASA said they realized that within their sponsorship deal with Nike, the sportsmen had to participate in marketing activities and were asked to suggest something to write in their Twitter. The outfit also understood that the final content of the publications was agreed with the Nike marketing team.

Nevertheless, the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed that it had considered there had been nothing obvious in the posts to show they were Nike marketing communications. The outfit decided that in the absence of any clear indication, like #ad, the tweets are regarded as not obviously identifiable as Nike marketing communications. In other words, such tweets are breaking the code.

As a result, the authority has already banned any repeat of the publications in their current form and it has put the international sportswear giant on notice, demanding it to ensure any further advertising on Twitter is clearly identified.

In response, Nike claimed that the use of its brands in someone’s tweets should be sufficient to alert the followers of Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere that those were commercial messages.

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