Late last week, a single post from a phony account that Twitter had validated caused Eli Lilly’s stock to plunge 6% in a single day, wiping billions of dollars off its market valuation. By removing the website’s advertisements, Lilly is now getting its own back on the social media platform.
We are thrilled to inform you that insulin is now free, according to a tweet from an account posing as Lilly’s corporate account on November 10.
Although many false accounts have impersonated business users over the years, this one was made using the new Twitter Blue premium service. In the past, Twitter used blue checkmarks as a free method of account authentication. However, anyone may now obtain a blue check without any verification by paying $8 per month under the ownership of the new owner Elon Musk.
The concept of a Twitter Blue subscription faced strong opposition from businesses and marketers. Musk tweeted over the weekend that the program would return, “probably end of next week,” after Twitter said last Friday that it was stopping it.
In any case, Lilly had already been notably affected by the blue tick on a phony account. Within hours of posting, the bogus account, which went by the handle @EliLillyandCo, garnered 10,000 likes and thousands of retweets thanks to the blue tick that made it resemble Lilly’s actual account.
Later, around six hours after Twitter had taken down the offending tweet, numerous more phony Eli Lilly copycats appeared. As one of the biggest producers of insulin and pharmaceuticals in the world, Lilly’s market value was reduced by about 6% as a result of the increased press attention. Sanofi and Novo Nordisk, two additional significant producers of insulin, were also negatively impacted by the conflict, with their stock prices falling and new concerns about the exorbitant cost of a life-saving drug resurfacing.
Now, according to a source from The Washington Post, a visibly irate Lilly is removing advertisements from Twitter.
Two unnamed Lilly employees told the Post that Big Pharma executives had now ordered a halt to all Twitter advertising activities and put the company’s global corporate Twitter publication plan on hold.