Wayne Rooney tweet nets ban for Nike Twitter campaign

Nike UK Twitter campaign banned over Wayne Rooney ad tweets
Rooney and Wilshire tweets were not obviously identifiable as ads

Nike has been reprimanded by advertising regulators after it used the personal Twitter accounts of footballers Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshire to promote its Make It Count campaign.

The sportswear giant is the first UK company to have a Twitter campaign banned by the ASA after tweets on the England pair's pages were ruled to be undeclared advertisements.

One tweet posted from Rooney's account stated: "My resolution — to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion...#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount".

Injured Arsenal midfielder Wilshire posted (to little avail): ""In 2012, I will come back for my club — and be ready for my country.#makeitcount.gonike.me/Makeitcount"

That's sort of chicanery is against the ASA's rules and the regulatory body said it was clear both tweets had been "agreed with the help of a member of the Nike marketing team."

Not misleading

Nike argued that both Premier League stars were well known for their association with the company and as such the tweets did not mislead either of the duo's followers.

However, the ASA's code says that advertisements must be "obviously identifiable" and ruled that these posts were not.

Earlier this year Rooney's Manchester United teammate Rio Ferdinand and model Katie Price were involved in a similar probe regarding tweets to promote Snickers chocolate bars.

These was ruled OK by the ASA as the tweets contained a #spon (sponsored) hashtag.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.