Engadget reported that X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, typically earns the most money in the last months of the year, as brands ramp up their advertising campaigns. According to The New York Times, though, the company’s earnings report for this quarter might look different than usual.
Based on internal documents The Times has seen, over 100 brands and even other types of advertisers, such as political candidates, have fully paused their ads on the website, while dozens more are considering pulling their campaigns. If advertisers don’t come back, X could lose up to $75 million in ad revenue earnings this year.
According to Engadget, IBM, Apple and Disney were among the brands that quickly pulled their ads from X after the incidents. Lionsgate specifically cited Musk’s tweet as its reason for suspending its advertising campaigns, while Ubisoft was one of the first video game companies to withdraw its ads from X.
According to The Times’ report, Airbnb has halted over $1 million worth of advertising on X, and Netflix has pulled $3 million in ads. X could also lose $4 million in ad revenue due to Microsoft’s subsidiaries pausing their campaigns. Uber and Coca-Cola are two other well-known brands that have chosen to put their advertising on X on hold.
Reuters reported that Musk backing an antisemitic post on the platform last week has led several companies including Walt Disney and Warner Bros Discovery to pass their advertisements on the site formerly called Twitter.
According to Reuters, X has struck back and sued media watchdog group Media Matters, alleging the organization defamed the platform with a report that said ads for major brands including Apple and Oracle had appeared next to posts touting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.
Advertisers have fled X since Musk bought it in October 2022 and reduced content moderation, resulting in a sharp rise in hate speech on the site, according to civil rights groups.
Mashable reported that the ad exodus followed X owner Elon Musk’s public support of an antisemitic conspiracy theory, in a tweet that is amazingly still up. That, combined with a general influx of hateful content that has the tendency to appear next to ads, has created a hostile environment for advertisers.
According to Mashable, X even confirmed a report from watchdog group Media Matters that ads on the platform are being shown alongside hateful content – but X is suing Media Matters for it anyway, claiming that it was a deliberate, malicious attack to “drive advertisers from the platform.”
The Hill reported that the New York Times said it viewed “internal documents” revealing that the social media company is in a tough position. The documents reportedly list over 200 ad units from companies like Amazon and Coca-Cola that have stopped or are considering pausing their advertising on X.
According to The Hill, The Times, said the documents are from the sales team at X, and that they are used to track the impact from advertising pullbacks in November.
In my opinion, there were many steps that Elon Musk could have taken to stop the exodus of brands pulling away their advertising from X, formerly known as Twitter. Suing Media Matters, who pointed out the antisemitic content on Mr. Musk’s platform, will not bring advertising money back.