Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere reprimanded for tweets promoting Nike

Jack Wilshere Wayne Rooney Twitter
Wayne Rooney (left) and Jack Wilshere (right) both sent tweets advertising Nike in January. Photo: PA Wire

Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere have been reprimanded by the advertising watchdog for tweets they sent promoting sportswear giants Nike.

Rooney tweeted from his official account in January:

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My resolution - to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion... #makeitcount http://t.co/JD6HUzbJ

Wilshere wrote at around the same time: "In 2012, I will come back for my club - and be ready for my country. #makeitcount.gonike.me/Makeitcount."

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Jack Wilshere's tweet has been banned by the advertising watchdog. Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

One person complained that the tweets were obviously identifiable as marketing on behalf of Nike.

The sportswear giant defended the campaign, saying both footballers were well known for being sponsored by Nike and added that the players were only communicating with those who had chosen to follow them

The company said it therefore believed that Rooney and Wilshere's Twitter followers would not be misled about the relationship between the footballers and Nike.

Jack Wilshere Wayne Rooney Twitter
Nike have defended Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere's tweets. Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

Nike also added that the players' Twitter feeds made it clear which were personal tweets and which were ads. They said the offending tweets - which had a Nike URL and the tag #makeitcount - were clearly advertisements.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it understood both players were required to take part in marketing activities and both were asked to give their own ideas on what to write in their tweets, but that the final content was agreed with the help of a member of the Nike marketing team.

We considered that the Nike reference was not prominent and could be missed, consumers would not have already been aware of Nike's "#makeitcount" campaign and that not all Twitter users would be aware of the footballers' and their teams' sponsorship deal with Nike.

We considered there was nothing obvious in the tweets to indicate they were Nike marketing communications. 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 code.

It ruled that the "ads" must no longer appear on the site and told Nike to ensure that its advertising was obviously identifiable as such.