Walgreens Declares a Twitter War on Express Scripts

Is This Just a Sign of Desperation?

   

Over the past few years, Corporate America has aggressively adopted Twitter. It’s been an excellent way to build stronger relationships with customers as well as deal with complaints. In fact, companies like Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) and JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) have millions of followers.

But Twitter may also be effective in another age-old corporate activity – that is, trashing your rivals! This is actually the approach from a recent Tweet from Walgreens (NYSE:WAG):

“It’s time to take a stand against @ExpressScripts. Tell them people want a choice by tweeting hashtag #ILoveWalgreens.”

This was more than just a call-out to Walgreens’ followers. The company paid Twitter a fee to promote it across the network (this is according to a piece in CNNMoney).

Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX), which is a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) operator, wasted little time in hitting back (yes, in a Twitter war, speed is critical). The company essentially said that it was Walgreens’ fault that its deal for insurance coverage was not renewed. Apparently, the costs were just too high.

All this makes for good drama but it does seem pointless – at least for shareholders. For the most part, Express Scripts was a key to Walgreen’s business and as a result, the stock has slumped. So it seems that a Twitter war is probably just a lot of virtual hot air.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/01/walgreens-declares-a-twitter-war-on-express-scripts/.

©2014 InvestorPlace Media, LLC

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