The Food and Drug Administration ordered the first enforcement action against a pharmaceutical company for its use of Facebook a month ago, directing drugmaker Novartis to remove a "Facebook Share" widget on the website for its leukemia drug Tasigna.
The widget was encouraging people to share content that misrepresented the drug, the FDA said in its letter, which it publicized last week. The letter also mentioned the "Share This" tool, which the agency said raises similar issues about other social media sites. But the offending text in the Facebook Share widget was drawn from the source's metadata, content that is written for search engines and usually does not appear on a web page.
3:27 pm on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
advertising is advertising so this is nothing strange IMO.
4:10 pm on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
not new, either.
One drugmaker for a cattle deworming product who advertised with us held meetings where cattlemen got up and talked about how other problems cleared up using their product. They paid the same cattlemen go around to the different meetings in several states offering untested "personal testimonials."
We did an article about it and they pulled $32,000 worth of ads.
6:40 pm on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)
For companies whose advertising falls under FDA oversight, this is a change. Metadata used to be pretty much ignored, whereas on-page content has always had a high level of scrutiny. Now the issue seems to be that widgets of various types can surface metadata in the content area.
Funny that meta descriptions in search results have always sort of slipped by and are still not directly mentioned. So I'm still not sure that the FDA is really up to speed, technically, on what's happening. Meta descriptions SHOULD always have been under the same scrutiny as visible content.
6:14 am on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
Go get them FDA. If crooks use skywriting I hope you authorize yourself into a squad of F18s too. If the public(physical) health is in danger the FDA shouldn't have any barriers in protecting people.
Now if the FDA gets ambitious and extends their self given authority to go after anything not health related they'd need to be told no.
6:34 am on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
advertising is advertising so this is nothing strange IMO
I had a doctor visit the other day and all of the posters in his office were from drug companies. It is no surprise the drug companies were into social media.
I'd rather see a poster for something healthy, cheap and without side effects, like a carrot.
2:43 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
Meta descriptions SHOULD always have been under the same scrutiny as visible content.
Ted, you seriously overestimate the technical knowledge of most regulators :)