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  • By The Financial District

Fake Eli Lilly Tweet Costs Musk Millions In Ad Revenues

The pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly halted Twitter ad spending after fake blue-check accounts went viral and the company was spooked by a bogus tweet that said insulin is available for free.


Photo Insert: The fake tweet carried a blue “verified” check mark, a badge that Twitter had used for years to signal an account’s authenticity — and that Twitter’s new billionaire owner, Elon Musk, had, while declaring “power to the people!” suddenly opened to anyone, regardless of their identity, as long as they paid $8.



For $8, Twitter is “losing out on millions of dollars in ad revenue,” a former Eli Lilly official said, Drew Harwell reported for Washington Post on Nov. 15, 2022.


The nine-word tweet was sent Thursday afternoon from an account using the name and logo of the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co., and it immediately attracted a giant response: “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.”



The tweet carried a blue “verified” check mark, a badge that Twitter had used for years to signal an account’s authenticity — and that Twitter’s new billionaire owner, Elon Musk, had, while declaring “power to the people!” suddenly opened to anyone, regardless of their identity, as long as they paid $8.


But the tweet was a fake — one of what became a fast-multiplying horde of impersonated businesses, political leaders, government agencies and celebrities.


By the time Twitter had removed the tweet, more than six hours later, the account had inspired other fake Eli Lilly copycats and been viewed millions of times.


Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

By Friday morning, Eli Lilly executives had ordered a halt to all Twitter ad campaigns — a potentially serious blow, given that the $330 billion company controls the kind of massive advertising budget that Musk says the company needs to avoid bankruptcy.


They also paused their Twitter publishing plan for all corporate accounts around the world.



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