Advertising on Twitter #makeitcountPosted on

There is no doubt that, for athletes, there is money to be made, and profile to be raised, on Twitter, however, the Advertising Standards Agency’s recent adjudication against Nike UK has indicated that companies using the microblogging site will be subject to increased scrutiny.

Nike ran two ads using the Twitter accounts of Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere with the following Tweets:

 

@WayneRooney – My resolution – to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion…#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount

@Jack_Wilshere – In 2012, I will come back for my club – and be ready for my country. #makeitcount.gonike.me/Makeitcount

 

The ASA found that the #makeitcount hashtag and Nike url in each Tweet did not make it clear enough to users that these were advertisements. The Authority noted that “the average Twitter user would follow a number of people … and they would receive a number of tweets throughout the day, which they may scroll through quickly”. This much is true and is the nature of Twitter, however, the alternative, to use the more orthodox hashtags #spon or #ad, would surely have been no more prominent than a Nike marketing hashtag and the company’s url.

The ASA commented that not all Twitter users would know what #makeitcount was or that Rooney and Wilshire are Nike ambassadors, however, do all Twitters know what #spon means?

It is difficult to know what more Nike could have done within 140 characters. The better solution, which is in the hands of Twitter, would be to give users who wish to advertise the ability to tag advertising tweets in the same way as promotional tweets are tagged.

A colourful logo saying “Marketing material for Nike” or some such, in the same style as “Promoted by” tags, would solve any such confusion.

Twitter may very well have this in hand. It would save the ASA a lot of future work, given that now Nike are appealing (and they may not be the last to do so) and, in the meantime the Authority have sanctioned Toni & Guy for a advertisement tweet sent out by the Only Way is Essex Star Gemma Collins (no? me neither?)

 

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