Advertising watchdogs have prohibited the sportswear giants from using the social networking site after their failure to indicate that certain tweets were advertisements
Sportswear giants Nike have become the first UK company to have a Twitter promotional campaign banned after advertising watchdogs clamped down on their 'Make it Count' promotion.
Premier League stars Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere both have lucrative sponsorship deals with the company and have been tweeting to promote the drive.
Rooney, who has nearly 4.4 million followers, recently tweeted: "My resolution - to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion...#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount."
Meanwhile, Wilshere, who has recently quit Twitter, posted: "In 2012, I will come back for my club — and be ready for my country. #makeitcount.gonike.me/Makeitcount.”
While the ASA [Advertising Standards Authority] acknowledge that certain players are paid to promote brands, they state that any tweets must clearly indicate that they are an advertisement and not the player’s own thoughts.
And the ASA believes Nike had misled Rooney and Wilshere’s followers in not clearly indicating the tweets were afor promotional purposes.
"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."
The watchdog added: "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".
Nike claimed to have spoken to the players regarding their goals for 2012, thus making the thoughts their own.
However, the ASA deemed the final tweets to have been “agreed with the help of a member of the Nike marketing team".