Ad description

A tweet, by the footballer Wayne Rooney, stated "The pitches change. The killer instinct doesn't. Own the turf, anywhere. @NikeFootball #myground".


The complainant, who saw the tweet when it was retweeted into their Twitter stream by someone they followed, challenged whether it was obviously identifiable as a marketing communication.


Nike (UK) Ltd (Nike) said the inclusion of the "@NikeFootball" official Nike Football Twitter address would have left consumers in no doubt that the tweet was a Nike marketing communication, because it directly and prominently referenced the Nike brand and its official Twitter address. They believed it was potentially clearer to consumers than if they had included an indicator such as '#ad' or '#spon'. They considered consumers would understand that a tweet by Wayne Rooney would only include the @NikeFootball address if the tweet was a marketing communication for Nike Football. They believed the wording of the tweet as a whole did not misleadingly imply that Wayne Rooney was tweeting as a consumer of Nike products rather than as a Nike-sponsored athlete, and therefore the commercial intent was clear.

Nike said that because the tweet was one of a series of five tweets by Wayne Rooney over four days, as part of their campaign for the FC247 football collection, all of which referenced the @NikeFootball address, consumers would have understood that they were part of a Nike Football ad campaign. They considered that was particularly the case because of the contrast between those tweets and Wayne Rooney's other tweets made around the same time. Notwithstanding that, Nike said they had designed the tweets in such a way that it was clear they were marketing communications whether viewed as a tweet directly from Wayne Rooney or viewed as a retweet, which was the case with the tweet viewed by the complainant. Nike considered the use of the @NikeFootball address meant the tweet was identifiable as a marketing communication in all contexts on Twitter.


Not upheld

The ASA noted the tweet included the statement "The pitches change. The killer instinct doesn't. Own the turf, anywhere" followed directly by the @NikeFootball Twitter address, the hashtag "myground" and a link to a picture. We considered the reference to Nike Football was prominent and clearly linked the tweet with the Nike brand. 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.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  2.1 2.1 Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such.    2.3 2.3 Marketing communications must not falsely claim or imply that the marketer is acting as a consumer or for purposes outside its trade, business, craft or profession; marketing communications must make clear their commercial intent, if that is not obvious from the context.  and  2.4 2.4 Marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials are marketing communications; for example, by heading them "advertisement feature".  (Recognition of marketing communications), but did not find it in breach.


No further action necessary.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

2.1     2.3     2.4    

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