Advertisers don’t plan to return on X

Twitter and X logos

The New York Times reports that on Thursday, advertisers announced that they had no intentions to return X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter. This decision follows an incident where the platform’s owner, Elon Musk, insulted brands by using swear words and advised them against spending on the platform.

A minimum of six marketing agencies reported that the brands under their representation are resolute in their decision not to advertise on X. Some agencies have even counseled advertisers to refrain from posting anything on the platform. According to NY Times’ sources, temporary spending pauses implemented by advertisers in recent weeks against X are likely to evolve into permanent freezes, as Musk’s comments provide no motivation for a return.

Over the past few weeks, over 200 advertisers suspended their payments on X following Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory and the revelation of ads appearing alongside pro-Nazi posts on the platform. As a company heavily reliant on advertising revenue, X faces the potential risk of losing up to $75 million this quarter as brands distance themselves from the platform.

The situation escalated on Wednesday when Musk made inflammatory remarks against advertisers during the DealBook Summit in New York. In a comprehensive interview at the event, he apologized for the antisemitic post, deeming it “one of the most foolish” he had ever published. However, he also accused advertisers of attempting to “blackmail” him. Specifically, he singled out Bob A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, who was also present at the DealBook Summit.

“Don’t advertise,” Musk said, using curse words over and over again to make his point.

Later that day, Linda Yaccarino, X’s chief executive, sought to alleviate the fallout. In a post on X, she redirected focus to Musk’s apology regarding his association with antisemitism and urged advertisers to reconsider their stance and return to the platform.

Prominent advertisers such as Apple, Disney, and IBM, known for substantial spending on X, have recently suspended their campaigns. However, some brands, including the National Football League and The New York Times’s sports site, The Athletic, continue to maintain their presence on the platform.

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