Social Media Disclosure – The Need for Transparency
With Monday’s launch of WOMMA’s updated Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide (now open for public comment), it’s almost terribly coincidental that a Nike Twitter campaign would be banned in the UK for lack of the very thing that WOMMA and the Zócalo Group consider so important – transparency.
Two celebrity soccer players, Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) and Jack Wilshire (Arsenal), tweeted on behalf of Nike’s “Make it Count” campaign, but failed to disclose that the tweets were ads.
WOMMA’s guide mandates that on microblog platforms like Twitter, advocates or paid spokespeople must “[i]nclude a notation that reasonably discloses any material connection, such as:
- A short phrase indicating that a specific type of ‘material connection’ exists
- URLs indicating that a specific type of material connection exists and directing people to a ‘Disclosure and Relationships Statement’
- or any of the following hashtags:
Obviously any of these notations is clearly lacking in Wayne Rooney’s tweet. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned the Twitter campaign – and Zócalo Group agrees with this conclusion.
When working in the “paid” part of the social media equation, clear and concise instructions are always necessary – tell your spokesperson what you expect from them, both with any sort of messaging and proper disclosure. Why hide it?
Transparency is vital to both word-of-mouth and social media marketing. When 70% of people trust consumer opinions posted online, how can we possibly generate an atmosphere of respect and trust if paid advertisements are not properly disclosed?
What do you think about the campaign and its subsequent ban?