The Advertising Standards Agency has judged that a couple of tweets by Nike-sponsored footballers (Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere) breach their guidelines on advertising in social media. The tweets featured a branded hashtag and a link to the Nike site.
These guys are high profile so their tweets were easy to spot but I don’t think anyone doubts that this is going on everywhere, every day. We’re just too busy to spot them all.
Where advertising appears within clear boundaries there’s no problem – billboards, TV campaigns, magazines. The issue is that the popular social media platforms don’t want to be seen as commercial by their users. The comments this week by Dick Costello of Twitter demonstrate that – they committed to put user experience above money making.
Companies can choose to promote a tweet but would you want to if it had to be stickered with an ASA disclaimer? Takes the sheen off it doesn’t it.
What you really want on social networks is honest, human content created by real people. If you’re putting words into people’s mouth then you’re doing it wrong