News & events
27/06/2012 - Tame your Tweets!
Following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency ("ASA”), footballers Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshire have been banned from repeating their recent Twitter messages, which are believed to have been created and agreed in collaboration with the Nike marketing team.
The ASA has ruled that the Tweets, which included the sports label’s slogan "Make It Count” and a web link to a promotional video, were not obviously identifiable as marketing on behalf of Nike and therefore breached the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales, Promotion and Direct Marketing (the "CAP Code”).
Nike defended the claim, saying that the inclusion of the Nike website address and its slogan "#makeitcount” in the players’ Tweets made it clear that they were adverts. However, the ASA considered that it would not be obvious to all readers that the whole of each Tweet was a marketing communication and that all adverts must be obviously identifiable as advertising, not just potentially identifiable as such.
If the Tweets had included explicit references to Nike itself and/or hashtags such as "#ad” or "#spon”, the ASA may not have received any complaints in respect of the nature of those messages.
For all advertisement formats, those who wish to market their products and/or services may like to consider the following questions:
- Will the audience quickly recognise the content as an advertisement because of the context?
- Can the audience easily distinguish advertising from editorial content in the medium?
- Are advertisements presented in a separate space that audiences expect to contain advertising?
If the answer to any of the questions above is "no”, marketers might consider taking special steps to ensure that the audience is in no doubt that the content is an advertisement.
For further information on the CAP Code and the application of associated guidelines to ensure that your promotional messages comply with legislation, please contact Grant Esterhuizen by email or call 01202 786224.