Woke’ corporations that have dominated social media giant Twitter for years are pulling their ads in the aftermath of Elon Musk’s takeover of the platform.
Pfizer on Thursday announced that it was ‘pausing’ ads, but it wasn’t the only corporation upset with Americans being allowed to discuss politics openly on the major digital platform.
Some advertisers are concerned that Mr. Musk could scale back content moderation, which they worry would lead to an increase in objectionable content on the platform. Others are temporarily halting their ads because of the uncertainty at the company as top executives exit and Mr. Musk considers a raft of changes, some of the people said.
“Food company General Mills Inc., Oreo maker Mondelez International Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Volkswagen AG’s Audi are among a growing list of brands that have temporarily paused their Twitter advertising in the wake of the takeover of the company by Elon Musk, according to people familiar with the matter,” WSJ reported.
General Motors Co. paused its spending on the social-media platform last week.
Many other companies are doing the same. An executive at one major ad agency said about 20 of its clients had temporarily paused Twitter spending.
These are the companies that have stopped advertising on Twitter since Musk’s takeover:
Audi of America, the Virginia-based unit of the German luxury automaker owned by the Volkswagen group, is among the latest companies to halt advertising on Twitter.
The company’s spokesperson Whaewon Choi-Wiles said on Thursday that Audi was going to suspend advertising on the platform but “will continue to evaluate the situation.”
Minnesota-based General Mills—which produces Cheerios, Trix, Lucky Charms, and Cocoa Puffs cereals, among many others—was one of the latest companies to pause advertising on Twitter.
General Mills confirmed the move to the Associated Press on Thursday, with spokesperson Kelsey Roemhildt saying: “As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend.”
Detroit automaker General Motors (GM) announced that it was going to pause advertising on Twitter last week, as it said it’s trying to “understand the direction of the platform.”
In a press statement last week, GM said that it is currently “engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership” and “as is the normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising. Our customer care interactions on Twitter will continue.”
Mondelez International, the makers of the popular Oreo sandwich cookies, also halted advertising on Twitter, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The company has not yet released an official statement acknowledging the ad pause or responded to media requests for comment.
Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal wrote on Thursday that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has also suspended advertising on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Volkswagen—one of the biggest automakers in the world, second only to Toyota—is among the latest companies to halt advertising on Twitter.
There’s reason to believe more companies might soon follow this trend.
Advertising companies Interpublic Group—with clients like CVS and Nintendo—and Havas Media—whose clients include O2, Hyundai, and Domino’s Pizza—have recommended to their clients to pause paid advertising on Twitter, Forbes reported.
“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists. Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America,” Musk tweeted Friday.
Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.
Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 4, 2022
A former clerk for Justice Gorsuch, Mike Davis, called on Elon to publicly name these advertisers so they could boycott them.
Elon responded by promising to “name & shame” advertisers fleeing due to pressure from activist groups.
A thermonuclear name & shame is exactly what will happen if this continues.
Will you boycott these companies?