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McNeil Pediatrics “Seeds” Unbranded ADHD Online Community On Facebook

Today, yet another Johnson & Johnson affiliated company has begun to use socialadhd_moms.jpg technologies to communicate about health.*  McNeil Pediatrics, a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, recently launched a group on Facebook, ADHD Moms.  McNeil bills ADHD moms as a “unique online destination where mothers of children with ADHD can hear directly from other moms about their experiences raising children with this condition.”  

What’s most interesting about this effort is that the social component of the initiative is muted – which is unsurprising for a pharmaceutical company.  At least initially, it looks like the Facebook page will feature one-way dialogue from caregivers and health experts to the Facebook community.  Unlike most Facebook groups, people are not currently able to post videos, commentary and other information on the ADHD Moms Facebook page.  Instead, by becoming a “fan” of ADHD moms, Facebook users will be receive updates with news and information about ADHD on a regular basis via the social network.   


It is likely that this was done to minimize the potential that users of the site will engage in off-label conversation and discuss adverse events they have experienced with McNeil’s products.  (The feasibility of this strategy from a regulatory perspective is discussed in a white paper developed by my firm Envision Solutions, TNS Media Intelligence and Seyfarth Shaw, LLP.)

The ADHD Moms Facebook page is an example of a social network communications strategy I have dubbed “seeding.”  This involves mobilizing or creating online communities around specific issues, disease states, causes or health transactions. I discussed this strategy (as it relates to social media communicatiosn in general) in an interview I conducted recently with Ed Silverman of Pharmalot.  

Learn more about ADHD Moms by clicking here.

*McNeil is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.  JNJBTW is Johnson & Johnson's corporate blog.  CNTO411 is a blog maintained by Centocor, another J&J owned company.

[Disclosure: Johnson and Johnson is an Envision Solutions client.  However, my firm is not working on this marketing effort.]

3 Comments/Trackbacks

Without the social media functions, what distinguishes this from any other run of the mill web site?


I'm taking a "wait and see" attitude about the new Facebook project. Facebook's lifeblood is the ability for people to comment on and freely share information. If the Facebook page does not provide moms with the ability to share their stories and voice, it's not very social. Oveerall, I expect this to change as the project moves forward.


A lot of social media content e.g. social bookmarking is no more than marketing but it should be visible as what it is. ADHD is the result of inventing a disease with marketing.

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