Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Concerta Effort

An opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times called "ADHD's Facebook 'friends'" draws attention to how the pharmacological industry is using social network sites to promote products by focusing on the Facebook page sponsored by the ADHD drug Concerta. What's particularly interesting to me about the company's strategy is how they recruited content-creators to the site who were already writers at parenting websites and blogs eager to make the jump from volunteer to paid labor:

Willingham, in a telephone interview from her Texas home, described herself to me as an "average-Joe mom," but also acknowledged she'd been recruited to the Facebook page by McNeil's Chicago public relations firm, drawn by her musings on Cafe Mom, a social networking site. McNeil also paid Willingham a fee and expenses to attend a New York conference on adult ADHD.

According to the author of the essay, the mother of disgraced Olympian Michael Phelps was also affiliated with the site until the photograph appeared that documented her son toking up at a party. This awareness of rhetorical strategies that could be persuasive in new Internet genres that depend on trust in one's social network by corporate interests is striking, as the traditional product spokesperson from the early days of broadcast television takes a new many-to-many form.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home