Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Pfizer's Deceptive "Campaign Against Migraine" Tweet Deleted - Too Late!

Sometimes, you make a mistake and want to "take it back." I understand that. But this electronically-connected world in which we live is making it much more difficult to truly delete e-mails, text messages, and tweets from the network.

Take, for example, this tweet by @Pfizer_news:

This is how the tweet looks as posted to the News Direct from the Pharma Industry Forum of Pharma Marketing Network (here), which I own and "curate"/administer.

This is how I keep up with tweets from major pharmaceutical companies: I use my forum software to automatically scan the Twitter feeds of selected pharma companies and post tweets from these Twitter accounts to the above forum. Because I am "subscribed" to this forum, I get daily email notices whenever these posts are made. That's how I learned about this tweet from @Pfizer_news.

It seems like an innocent enough Tweet and looked interesting - I wanted to see what the "campaign for migraine relief" was all about, so I clicked on the link in the tweet:, which is Twitter-shortened link.

I was surprised when the link above took me to, which is the branded website for Pfizer's Relpax migraine drug. I found nothing there about the "campaign for migraine relief" as was promised by the Tweet. That's the deceptive aspect of the Tweet.

The tweet included the hashtag #CampaignAgainstMigraine. A Google search on "CampaignAgainstMigraine" leads to a real "Campaign Against Migraine" Web site sponsored by Pfizer:

NOTE: If you search on "#CampaignAgainstMigraine" you can find reference to the same tweet. The link, however, leads to, which no longer lists the tweet.

So, what's the big deal? Obviously, it is deceptive to link to a site as part of a message that implies you will be joining a campaign against a debilitating medical condition! Hopefully, grownups at Pfizer recognized this mistake and deleted the tweet. But, as I said in the beginning, the tweet lives on -- at least on the Pharma Marketing Forum mentioned above.

Followup (8 June 2012): @Pfizer_news "retweeted" with the CORRECT link this time: "Join the campaign against migraine. #CampaignAgainstMigraine" As I suspected, the link is to the site I found via Google, not to the REPLAX branded website. Hat tip to Amber Williams (@williaqj) for alerting me.

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