Half of Twitter’s top advertisers appear to be leaving the platform within a month of Musk’s takeover, report says

The few weeks since Elon Musk took over the reins of Twitter have been filled with chaos – including a launching, dismantling and revive of premium services as well as the unban controversial personalities. And this week, a new report outlines the impact the management change could have on the social media giant’s finances.

Nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters for America released a report on Tuesday concluding that Twitter has lost half of its top advertisers since Elon Musk acquired the platform in late October.

According to the report, 50 of the platform’s top 100 advertisers, which have accounted for about $2 billion in spend since 2020, “have announced or apparently stopped advertising” in recent weeks. These companies had brought in more than $750 million from advertising in 2022 alone, the report, which relies on data current to November 21, said.

Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ford and Jeep are among the companies that either released a statement or publicly announced that they had recently stopped advertising on the site, according to the report. Others, whom Media Matters dubbed “silent quivers,” have apparently stopped their Twitter ads since Musk’s Takeover, the report found using Pathmatics data. These companies include AMC Networks, AT&T, BlackRock, Chanel, and Kellogg, among others.

Not all of the companies included in the report explicitly said they had stopped or slowed advertising because of Musk. Earlier this month, for example, a spokesperson for Kellogg’s said the company was suspending its ads as it continued “to monitor this new direction and assess our marketing spend.”

Seven other companies appear to be slowing down their advertising on Twitter “to next to nothing,” the report said. These companies have spent more than $255 million on the platform since 2020 and nearly $118 million since January 1.

A Washington Post analysis published on Tuesday found that more than a third of Twitter’s top advertisers haven’t advertised on the platform in the past two weeks. Jeep and Mars candies, for example, have not had ads on the site since Nov. 7, The Post said.

“Mars began suspending advertising activities on Twitter in late September when we became aware of significant brand safety and suitability incidents that impacted our brands,” Mars told the Post in a post. communicated.

Many advertisers have expressed concern about the site’s potential new strategies for moderating content and how these policies could damage their brand image.

Earlier this week, the director of a medium-sized business-to-business company wrote on communications site Blind that they had suspended their Twitter ad spend of $750,000 per month for the past few weeks. The company isn’t among those listed on the platform’s top advertisers, but the director’s widely shared post says Twitter typically makes up around 8-10% of their mix.

In the two weeks since Musk took over Twitter, the director said their ad campaign performance “dropped significantly” as engagement dropped sharply. They also said “serious brand safety issues” were seen as “outright anti-Semitism and adult spam remain in place for days even when reported.”

They didn’t blame Musk for the issues, noting that some of the issues could have been caused by a “change of users on the platform,” but said that regardless, these were issues that “we cost real money”.

Musk himself has complained a loss of publicity on the site.

On Tuesday, a Twitter user pointed to an Oct. 28 tweet in which Musk promised to create a content moderation board to discuss reinstating banned accounts. “[S]spike in ‘completely fictitious’ tweets,” the person wrote, implying that Musk ignored his promise to reinstate previously suspended users.

Musk responded by blaming activists. “A broad coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by depriving us of ad revenue if I agreed to this condition.”

“They broke the deal,” he said.

A day after Media Matters published its report, Twitter also announced the launch new “performance advertising solutions that drive results and relevance”. The launch aims to provide a better return on investment for businesses while delivering more “relevant ads” to consumers, Twitter said.

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