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June 20, 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.

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