User-Generated Content: Can You Find the Pill Shill?

New comScore data suggest that about 30 percent of women consider user-generated content on the web when making decisions about birth control methods. Twenty-three percent said they wouldn’t consider UGC, and 46 percent said they’d consider it but haven’t tried the chat/forum method.

The data make sense. With a whole new wave of birth control products on the market—including drugs that permit women to have menstrual periods monthly, quarterly, or even once per year (!)—women are checking with those who have been there/done that for some straight talk.

UGC can let sisters do it for themselves—at least with a new form of a product women have been using for years, and is heavily advertised with direct to consumers suggesting it’s a lifestyle choice rather than a medical decision.

The survey, like so many, was done on behalf of pharma companies. The back story raises familiar questions about UGC with consumer products

Hmmm…pharma companies learn that a majority of women either are or would consider UGC to make decisions. So let’s see, what’s a more effective method of reaching these women–more direct-to-consumer advertising or hey, maybe a posse of online “brand ambassadors” and “superusers” who slyly create UGC on behalf of drugs?

The implication, well known to students of 2.0 marketing, is clear. In the world of UGC, it can be hard to tell the difference between a girlfriend and a pill shill.

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