A Nike campaign involving two professional soccer players has been banned by the ASA. It’s the first time the Association has banned a Twitter campaign according to Mashable. The tweets in question involved motivated messaging about resolutions from the athletes. The problem was, however, that it was not obvious that the tweets were advertisements. An anonymous complaint generated some interest in the campaign’s tactics and the ASA decided that the campaign was, in fact, misleading.
This is likely to become an even bigger issue in the future with Facebook advertisements slowly being integrated more and more into the news feed (sponsored stories, which are paid ads, are already appearing in the news feed on the mobile app with the word “Promoted” in the top right corner). The lines between promoted, paid and organic digital marketing becomes more blurred by the day. Do you think that the ASA was right to ban this Twitter campaign or do you think that it’s the responsibility of the consumers to educate themselves about a celebrity’s endorsements?