Published on September 4th, 20130
Athlete Twitter Pages
This tweet is clearly an advertisement:
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) July 16, 2013
But what about this?
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) July 18, 2013
Or this one?
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) August 21, 2013
When professional athletes tweet about companies, it can be difficult to tell whether the tweet constitutes a paid advertisement or the athlete’s uncompensated opinion. The ASA recently ruled that a tweet by soccer star Wayne Rooney was not deceptive because the tweet was clearly an advertisement. But some of Harper’s and other athletes’ tweets are not so clearly marked as marketing materials. Consumers should be aware that many tweets on an athlete’s page are paid for.
Update: While Under Armour was presumably too busy “inventing performance” to respond to TINA.org’s requests for comment, the FTC did say that:
You are correct that the FTC cannot monitor every tweet. Nevertheless, we are paying attention. And because most advertisers want to follow the rules, (and want their competitors to follow the rules), we tend to find out when things are seriously amiss.