The Inquirer-Home

Wayne Rooney and Nike are in trouble for tweeting

A tweet that's an advert must say so
Wed Jun 20 2012, 11:25

ENGLAND FOOTBALLER and apparent mobile advertiser Wayne Rooney has got into a little bit of bother because of a tweet.

The tweet, a promotion for something to do with Nike, didn't go far enough to show itself for what it was, which was an advert, and has been criticised by the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

Rooney and another footballer called Jack Wilshere sent their tweets in January, and both sent vaguely aspirational messages with a link to a Nike web site.

The ASA investigated in response to complaints and was told by Nike that people really ought to associate Rooney with Nike anyway, and therefore should assume that things that he might say could be adverts for the brand. It's some argument, and it's the one that Nike likes apparently.

"They said Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere were communicating to Twitter members who had chosen to 'follow' them and that both footballers were well known for being sponsored by Nike, as were the teams for which they played; Manchester United and Arsenal respectively," reports the ASA.

"They believed, therefore, that Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere's Twitter followers would not be misled about the relationship between the footballers and Nike."

Nike also said that the presence of a URL that identified Nike should help clear up any confusion. But this and the other argument were dismissed by the ASA.

"We considered the average Twitter user would follow a number of people on the site and they would receive a number of tweets throughout the day, which they may scroll through quickly," it said, adding that marketing codes require that marketing communications must be "obviously identifiable as such".

The ASA said the adverts must never appear in the same form again. µ


Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

INQ Poll

Happy new year!

What tech are you most looking forward to in 2015