Media outlets around the world are talking about Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, but news coverage hasn’t been overly positive. According to CBS News, brands like “General Mills and Audi are the latest big advertisers to pause ads on Twitter as questions swill about how the platform will operate under the new owner” (CBS News, 2022).
So, what’s the biggest concern for advertisers? Strict content moderation. Before Musk assumed ownership, Twitter had a zero tolerance policy for harassment, violence, election misinformation and COVID-19 misinformation. Advertisers are concerned that these policies will become more “relaxed” since Musk has described himself as a “free speech absolutist” is the past. They’re also concerned that staying on Twitter can tarnish their brand.
Another celebrity that recently found himself in hot water is Kanye West. West made antisemitic remarks that caused companies he was affiliated with to end their relationships with him. According to CBS News, “researchers from Montclair State University found that 12 hours after Musk’s takeover, Twitter saw a more hostile environment on the platform” (CBS News, 2022). Tweets were filled with hate speech and aimed at people based on race, religion, orientation, etc.
IPG Mediabrands sent an announcement to all their clients strongly recommending that they pause their advertising campaigns on Twitter until there is more certainty with the platform.
90% of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertisers, but it’s not the biggest platform advertisers turn to for digital marketing (CBS News, 2022). It’s no surprise that the BIG 3 – Google, Amazon and Meta – account for 75% of Twitter’s advertising.
What do you think the future looks like for Twitter? Will large brands decide to resume advertising on the platform once the dust settles? Do you think Twitter will keep their zero tolerance policy based on Musk’s personal brand?