No, she's been on them for a long time, and occasionally skips the off week and goes right to the next pack so that she can skip her period. She has done this with success in the past and this is the first time she's had the breakthrough bleeding. The question is, how long might she expect it to last?
I've personally never experienced breakthrough bleeding so I don't know much about it. I'm sure it's not going to last very long. The longest I've heard from other women is like 2-4 days. It really depends on why she's experiencing that. It could be because her pills are no longer working properly and maybe she needs to switch to something else.
The best thing is to just talk to her doctor and figure it all out.
I would also guess that it would only be a few days, but I'd imagine the longest it COULD be would be maybe 5 days or so? I have never had this happen to me when I skip the placebo pills.. I would ask the doctor about it if the spotting doesn't stop soon.
Sometimes women have breakthrough bleeding or spotting when they try to skip, even if it's never happened before, just BECAUSE the pill is like that. That's only part of the reason why it sucks. Anyway, I don't think she needs to assume that her pill isn't working anymore. Rather, I think she should assume that this time, for whatever reason, her body just didn't feel like allowing her to skip.
As to how long it will last, it's anyone's best guess. There's really no way to know for sure.
I had a little bit of brown blood and was told it could be due to endometriosis. Not sure if this could be your problem. I had a case severe enough to cause pain but I wonder if someone could have a mild case and only have the discharge as the only symptom.