December 4, 2022

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Twitter advertisers back off as layoffs sweep the company

Twitter advertisers back off as layoffs sweep the company

Advertisers’ pullout from Twitter gained steam on Friday amid growing concerns that disinformation and hate speech will be allowed to spread on the platform under the leadership of Elon Musk.

The Volkswagen Group joined several other companies in recommending that its car brands, which include Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche, stop spending on Twitter over concerns that its ads will appear alongside problematic content. Danish brewing company Carlsberg Group said it had advised its marketing teams to do the same. Outdoor equipment and apparel retailer REI said it will pause posts as well as ad spend “given the uncertain future of Twitter’s ability to edit harmful content and ensure brand integrity for advertisers.” United Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott confirmed that the airline suspended the announcement on Twitter earlier this week.

Civil rights groups, including the GLAAD and the Anti-Defamation League, held a conference call Friday urging other companies to ditch Twitter, saying the mass layoffs there have undermined what they described as the already lean content moderation staff.

Even Mr. Musk acknowledged the decline in advertising, tweeting on Friday morning that Twitter had “seen a massive drop in revenue,” which he blamed on activist groups pressuring advertisers.

The chaotic first week of Mr Musk’s Twitter ownership hit Madison Avenue, as advertisers struggle to reconcile billionaire promises to make the platform safe for brands who have concerns about extremism outburst And the false stories one promotion by Mr. Musk himself.

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In his tweet about Twitter’s faltering revenue, Mr. Musk said “nothing has changed with the content modification and we have done everything we can to please activists” – a claim that civil rights groups have denied.

A minute before his comment was published, ad tracking platform MediaRadar released statistics showing that the number of advertisers on Twitter has decreased since May, shortly after Mr Musk introduced the platform. announceduntil September, when he was still Fighting to get out of the deal He struck a Twitter buy in April.

MediaRadar, which tracks ad campaigns for millions of businesses, said the data for October, when Mr. Musk took over Twitter, won’t be available until later this month.

Twitter had 3,900 advertisers in May and 2,300 in August. The number rose to 2,900 in September, according to Media Radar. The analytics firm found that General Motors, which paused its Twitter spending last week, spent an average of $1.7 million per month on the platform.

There were more than 1,000 new advertisers on the platform each month before July, when the feud between Mr Musk and Twitter began to escalate and the number of new advertisers dropped to 200.

MediaRadar found that in September, there were 668 new advertisers. Todd Krezelman, CEO of MediaRadar, said in a statement that factors such as economic conditions likely played a role in the mass migration, as did uncertainty over Twitter’s ownership and content moderation policies.

“This acquisition clearly represents a challenge to advertiser confidence,” said Mr. Krizelman. He added that Mr. Musk planned to search for her Income sources outside of advertising It can mitigate any damage caused by Madison Avenue.

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After Mr. Musk’s tweet, a coalition of civil rights groups and activists called a press conference to press for a global advertising boycott of Twitter.

“We are witnessing the real-time destruction of one of the most powerful communications platforms in the world,” Nicole Gill, executive director of the nonprofit group Accountable Tech, said during the call. “Unless Musk can aggressively enforce Twitter’s existing community standards, the platform is not safe for users or advertisers.”

Angelo Caruson, CEO of the progressive nonprofit Media Matters of America, said on the call that he has worked on several efforts to use the advertiser boycott to pressure social media companies to clean up their platforms. He said some of the advertisers he requests typically turn down his requests, saying reaching potential customers is a higher priority than focusing on Silicon Valley.

But after the alliance of activists reached out this week with the 20 biggest advertisers on Twitter, including Anheuser-Busch, Disney and Procter & Gamble, Mr. to do that. Single implementation.

The two companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

“I’ve never experienced that before,” said Mr. Karusoni. “And I think that’s the most revealing thing, and it shows a real consensus about the current state of the crisis that Twitter is going through.”