In a rather unfortunately timed announcement given the footballing events of last night, the Advertising Standards Authority has moved to ban forms of subtle Twitter advertising as practised by Nike and its favourite son Wayne Rooney.
The ASA received complaints earlier this year, after Rooney put up a message on Twitter that was clearly little more than an advert for Nike, endorsing the sportswear company's Make It Count media campaign with a message about his goals for 2012.
The tweet wasn't tagged as an advert, though. Nike claimed that Rooney and fellow adver-tweeter Jack Wilshere were well known for being sponsored by Nike, and that the Nike URL in the tweet ought to have told users it was an ad, so everything's fine and no one needs to be rapped on the knuckles.
However, the ASA decided that not everyone is as media aware as that and may have just thought Rooney and Wilshere were tweeting about Nike out of love rather than money, therefore the ad technique has been barred from being used in future.
If Nike wants to do this again, it'll have to make sure advertising is obviously identifiable. Like by saying "ADVERT" at the beginning, so we all know to ignore it. [ASA]