Mr. Mucus Gets a Chatbot Thanks to WebMD, Which Grows Its RB Partnership


Now you can talk to Mr. Mucus, in a sense, via chatbot, thanks to WebMD and the latest wrinkle in its long-running partnership with RB (Reckitt Benckiser).

The chatbot is part of a growing artificial-intelligence effort from WebMD, an outgrowth of voice programs developed last year to work with Amazon Echo and Google Home. Perhaps sadly, Mr. Mucus doesn’t actually engage in the conversation. But folks looking up cold and flu symptoms on WebMD will be prompted by the chatbot to, say, ask any questions they have about the ailments, along with branded Mucinex queries about how to treat cough or congestion symptoms.

While “partnership” gets thrown around too liberally in marketing, what’s been going on the past six years between WebMD and RB fits the description. The medical information site is one of RB’s original media “joint business planning” partners along with the likes of Facebook, meaning its executives play an integral role in each year’s communication’s planning process and even retail salesforce planning for brands that also include Lysol, Delsym and Airborne supplements.

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