Lilly delves into social media for oncology art contest

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Eli Lilly entered the Twittersphere without fanfare in early September for its fourth biennial Lilly Oncology on Canvas initiative, an art contest for those who have been affected by cancer.

Amy Sousa, a Lilly spokesperson, said the goals of the contest are the same, but the method for reaching participants has changed. “We're using social media tools…to engage participants,” she said, adding that anyone whom has experienced cancer – as a patient or caregiver – is eligible for the contest. Followers of Lilly's Twitter account will receive tweets about art exhibition dates, inspiring messages and other information, said Sousa. A Facebook page for the program is forthcoming.

The contest, which officially launches November 1, will run through June of 2010. Winners will be announced in fall of 2010, with the first prize receiving a $10,000 charitable donation to an organization of his or her choice.

Sousa said she is not aware of any immediate plans to launch new corporate Twitter accounts along the lines of several other large pharmaceutical companies, but said Lilly is “continuing to watch this space, particularly in light of the [DDMAC] hearing.”

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