Wednesday, September 04, 2013
UK ASA approves tweet using @ instead of #ad
A footballer, Wayne Rooney, stated "The pitches change. The killer instinct doesn't. Own the turf, anywhere. @NikeFootball #myground pic.twitter.com/22jrPwdgC1". The ASA held that this was sufficient disclosure of the sponsored nature of the communication, given both the use of @NikeFootball (Nike's official address) and #myground (apparently the hashtag for the campaign): "Whilst we considered that not all Twitter users would be aware of Wayne Rooney's sponsorship deal with Nike or the particular Nike campaign the tweet promoted, we considered that in the particular context of a tweet by Wayne Rooney the wording of the initial statement was such that in combination with '@NikeFootball' and '#myground', the overall effect was that the tweet was obviously identifiable as a Nike marketing communication." Somehow I doubt the FTC would come to the same conclusion. Also, the ASA didn't address a Nike argument the FTC has explicitly rejected--that this was part of a series of five tweets over four days as part of a campaign; given how separated tweets can be in a feed even if they're tweeted one after the other, the FTC wants each disclosure to stand on its own.