Tweeting pole vault star avoids ad storm

Holly Bleasdale
Holly Bleasdale

SPORTSWEAR giant Nike has been let off the hook by the UK’s advertising watchdog following a controversial tweet by Wigan-based athlete Holly Bleasdale.

Pole vault star Holly posted on her Twitter site in support of Roger Federer during his Wimbledon final win over Andy Murray last Sunday week, linking it to their joint sponsor, Nike.

Her tweet read: “Come on Federer!! Team #Nike #makeitcount” with the final hash tag being the Nike slogan.

Such tweets have become a contentious issue following a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to ban a Nike Twitter campaign last month following similar tweets made by Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire - both of whom are also sponsored by Nike.

Rooney’s tweet read: “My resolution - to start the year as a champion, and finish it as a champion ...#makeitcount gonike.me/makeitcount”.

Wilshere had posted “In 2012, I will come back for my club - and be ready for my country gonike.me/Makeitcount”.

The ASA said that the messages did not make clear they were “identifiable as marketing communications”.

It marked the first time the ASA has acted against a Twitter-based campaign. It suggested that in future firms should add #ad or some other clear indication that a message had been paid for.

Matt Wilson of the ASA, said: “This is relatively new territory for us as a regulator.

“People are experimenting and using Twitter to reach consumers, but the same advertising rules apply. It’s an ongoing process and this illustrates the care firms must take.”

Olympic medal hopeful Holly has more than 4,500 followers and posted several tweets during the Wimbledon final in support of Federer, including this retweet: “Yes Federer! Send him back to Scotland crying! #Wimbledon2012 #tooeasy”

However, Nike have escaped further punishment from the ASA in regard to the tweets made by Holly.

A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We can confirm no investigation will be made into the tweets made by Holly Bleasdale.”

British record holder Holly is currently training in France ahead of this month’s London Olympic Games.

The Blackburn Harrier, who is based in Abram, secured her place at the games by smashing the UK record with a vault of 4.71m.