Social Scanner: Should you tweet about the World Cup?

Not an official sponsor? Tweeting may land you in legal trouble

For the next four weeks, World Cup buzz will dominate the social web.

FIFA sponsors like Coca-Cola and Adidas are already taking advantage of the social chatter, releasing soccer-themed ads online and talking about the competition on their social channels.

But it’s often the brands jumping in on the discussion on the cheap that attract the most attention. More than half (54%) of the social shares of soccer-related ads in the lead up to the World Cup have come from non-FIFA sponsors, according to a new study by Unruly.

For example, Nike’s new soccer ad earned 1.28 million shares, while FIFA sponsor Adidas’ latest ad drew a lesser 158,201.

Whether it’s a soccer-themed ad or a #WorldCup tweet, though, brands who try to associate themselves with the competition risk legal action if they don’t lay down sponsorship dollars.

Writing in Digiday, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz counsel Christopher R. Chase notes FIFA has already sent a cease and desist to for using the World Cup “mundial” in a promo for soccer-themed trips to Rio.

Lesser offenses, say tweeting a congratulations message to a player who scores a winning goal, may likewise land a brand in hot water. Courts in the U.S. recently found a Jewel-Osco ad congratulating Michael Jordan on his induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame guilty of false association. According to Chase, other posts like that on social media could lead to the same outcome.

“Marketers should even approach Twitter with caution,” he said. “Sending social media messages to a particular athlete or team with whom they do not have an agreement can get a marketer in trouble.”

Facebook rolls out Snapchat competitor… by accident

Oopsies. Rumours have long been floating that Facebook is readying a Snapchat competitor and this week it confirmed those rumours when it unintentionally uploaded the app, called Slingshot, to the Apple App store. In a statement, the social network said “We accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on,” but did not confirm when the app would be available. Facebook previously tried launching a similar app called Poke, but it failed to pick up traction and was shuttered.

Pinterest makes moves in search

In April Pinterest added a guided search feature on mobile. This week it rolled out the feature on desktop, making it much more like a search engine. According to MediaPost, it has also hired several Apple engineers to help with the search efforts. Using guided search, consumers will see suggested search terms that relate to their query that will lead them to further pins and boards. For example, if a user searches for “running,” they will see other categories for exploring the site, like “motivation.”

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The Numbers

Social media ads do the best job of meeting brand objectives, according to the Millward Brown Digital’s new study for MediaBrix. Social beat out native ads, paid search and email. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the study.


Percentage of marketers who said social ads meet their digital brand objectives


Percentage of marketers, by comparison, who said paid search meets their digital brand objectives


Percentage of marketers who have run social ads


Percentage, by comparison, of marketers who have run native ads


Percentage of marketers who have run the least-common form of digital advertising in the survey, emotion-based in-game ads

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