Prohibition blog

June 2012

Viewing posts from June , 2012

Is there a ‘right’ way for sponsors to advertise on personal twitter accounts?

clip_image002Nike, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere have recently come under scrutiny for advertising tweets that Rooney put out on his personal account.

The main issues that the ASA had with Rooney’s the tweet back in January was that it wasn’t made clear that it was an advertisement. Nike argued that ‘the players were only communicating with those who had chosen to follow them and both were well known for being sponsored by Nike’, and that they would of all been aware of the current campaign. Yet the ASA pointed out that not all of his followers scanning their feeds would be aware of his sponsorship deal of Nike’s current campaign, thus the tweet crossing the line between personal thoughts and advertising the brand.

I agree with Nike in some way, as it is clear to me that the tweet did not come naturally from the player, however to many people with a lesser knowledge this may not have been quite as obvious. So when and how is it acceptable for brands and campaigns to advertise via personal twitter accounts, if at all?

Other companies and big celebrities have been getting away with such tweets by including hashtags like ‘#ad’ or ‘#spon’. These additions certainly announce that the tweet is an advertisement, but in my opinion turn the tweets into something completely different, a cheap ad, instead of an insight into the person’s life. To me this instantly loses credibility for both parties.

In my opinion, advertisements and personal twitter accounts should stay completely separate, people do not follow someone that they are interested in to be fed cheeky and cheap adverts. And with new techniques developing all the time it will be interesting to see how promoted tweets and advertising on all social media adapts and evolves.

This post was not an advertisement.

Social Media No Longer a Hiding Place For Trolls

With the internet being a place where you are free to voice your opinions without regulation is it not inevitable that people will abuse this liberty?

‘Trolling’ is a popular, but not necessarily harmful way of expressing opinions on the internet. According to Sky News trollers “start intelligent but controversial conversations on online bulletin boards and forums, with the secret intention of starting heated debate or argument just for the fun of it.”

Internet Trolls May Not Be This Friendly

Thanks To Cali4beach for allowing us to use this image

But the term ‘trolling’ is now being used to descried what most people would call ‘cyber bullies’ which has definitely put a bee in the bonnet of the trolling community, but that’s another rather tedious story.

More to the point, cyber bulling is in the verge of being regulated. With a current cyber bullying case against Facebook to retrieve the IP address of the bullies being won, the Government is now looking in to creating a law that will force such sites, including Twitter, to reveal information without the case having to go to court. This law will be added to the new Defamation Bill, which is updating laws for the internet.

With stories being released such as “Police receive a report of a crime linked to Facebook every 40 minutes” and “1 in 5 children are bullied online”, it is becoming more and more apparent that this freedom of speech that we are all so used to is being used in a way that it was not intended, and that more help for victims is important. As well as protecting victims of online bullying, this new legislation may also be used by companies wanting to out the trollers that may have been posting false claims about them online.

Another point to this law is to protect the websites themselves from liability. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said “Our proposed approach will mean that website operators have a defence against libel as long as they comply with a procedure to help identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material.”

Personally I think that this is a step in the right direction in protecting the younger victims of cyber bullying but when it comes to companies wanting to unmask pesky trollers I definitely disagree with the law.

Then again, how useful is an IP address, with that information wouldn’t you then need to fight to actually trace the computer and its possible owners?

With this news the world of Twitter has united, sending out warning messages to cyber bullies, with some controversially admitting to being cyber bullies themselves.

Euros Cost Sees Fans Stay Away

Every two years another major tournament rolls around and England fans are normally dusting their shorts and St. George’s flags off before travelling on mass and taking over several cities (except for 2008 thanks to the Wally with the brolly). This year it’s different. It’s is believed that England have brought numbers in the low thousands to the tournament, which seems odd considering how many followed them to South Africa in 2010, with around 25,000 fans travelling, and to Japan and Korea on 2002.

England Supporters Flag

Thanks to Ell Brown for allowing us to use her picture


One of the main concerns for fans is the cost. Given the current financial climate it’s difficult to justify such luxury spending, especially when many will have a family who will want to go on holiday as well. As soon as the hosts are chosen, the cost of hotel rooms and flights nearly quadruple as they know they will sell. Unfortunately for most men they will have the voice of reason telling them to go to Marbella instead.

After being awarded the Championships, the Ukraine government believed that over one million football fans would enter the country in June. However, the State Boarder Guard Service has said that only 37,000 fans have entered the country since the start of the tournament. England’s opener against France was attended by 47,400 fans, but it is reported that only 2,800 England fans attended and only 550 from France.

Cost isn’t the only issue. Racism is a problem in Poland and Ukraine and it has already been witnessed by a number of teams. Maverick Mario Balotelli has even threatened to walk off the pitch if he is racially abused and UEFA have said very little to help deal with the problem.

Violence is also a concern. Although the England fans are often accused of being hooligans, it is worried that with elements of the former Soviet Union coming together with Russia, there will be trouble. There have already been fights between Russian and Polish fans in Poland which started when around five thousand Russian fans marched to Poniatowski Bridge in the capital to mark Russia Day. After suffering under the rule of Russia during the Cold War many fans took this as a form of provocation and over 183 arrests were made.

Ukraine has suffered from a lack of pro-active PR activity. Since they were awarded the Championships in 2007 there has been very little coming out of Ukraine to draw more than just football fans in. Once the tournament is over, Ukraine will be left with a number of four and five star hotels that they are going to struggle to fill. Like the UK with the Olympics, now is the time that they need to start promoting all that is good about their country if they are to leave any sort of legacy.

Elton slams Roy Hodgson live on stage in Harrogate

Yesterday, I went to the first ever open air concert staged in the Great Yorkshire Show Grounds in Harrogate. My wife and I went to see Elton John, he was brilliant, performing more than two hours of his back catalogue including the majority of his biggest hits and some of his other more select album choices. I wasn’t sure about attending the event as I like his music but I didn’t know what to expect really – I am more of a dance music fan. As it was the first concert of its size in Harrogate, I was interested to see if he and it could pull in the crowds, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, Elton had been ill the week before with a respiratory illness and he even had to cancel three gigs which was worrying but then he appeared the day before at the Queen’s Jubilee in London.

I could try and write a full music review of the gig but it seems we weren’t the only people in attendance as I came across this review from Dave Simpson of The Guardian. He is its music critic and puts it far better than I could when he describes the scene:

Away from the showbiz and flag-waving of the Mall, this 180-minute marathon is about Elton the musician, exploring his labyrinthine back catalogue. There are songs from 1970s touchstone albums Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Madman Across the Water, unexpected gems (Hey Ahab, from 2010’s critically heralded, so-so-selling album with hero Leon Russell), and classics including a perfect Tiny Dancer and a Rocket Man that now sounds wistful for his days of being “high as a kite”.

Candle in the Wind, famously performed at Princess Diana’s funeral, is played without introduction, the song returning to its original position as moving lament for Marilyn Monroe.

I really enjoyed it all, apart from the expensive sandwiches on sale at £6.80 (what’s that all about?). In my opinion Elton certainly still has the (Sorry Elton) x-factor as a musician. How he still does it so well after such a long career is beyond me but he does and he is still a musical genius. However, the real stand out moment that had me aghast was right at the end in the encore when he decided to share his very clear footballing opinion. I don’t want to misquote the great man, so I will let Dave Simpson quote him he states:

The one moment of controversy is comical, when the former Watford FC chairman debates the England team selections, branding new manager Roy Hodgson a “twat”.

It was Elton’s way of clearly demonstrating his displeasure at the fact Rio had been omitted from the England squad for Euro 2012. He also called Hodgson boring and made it clear he felt Kelly wasn’t anywwhere near as good as Rio. Now I am a Liverpool fan and so I should really side with Kelly but I have to admit, I agree with him. Rio is a far more experienced player and would be much better at a tournament of this nature – we could do with his experience. Despite the reports I don’t think this decision is down to footballing reasons at all that said we should back the guy to at least win us one game. I am not holding out much hope though.

I have to say Elton has gone up in my estimations, he is a brilliant musician and I seem to agree with him on football terms too. So I think I will have to drop him a line and join him for a beer as we both have new babies too.