Carmaker Audi and General Mills, the packaged-food titan behind Cheerios, have joined a growing list of companies halting their ad spending on Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover.
‘We have currently paused paid support on Twitter and will continue to evaluate the situation,’ an Audi spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Thursday, one week after the completion of Musk’s $44 billion buyout.
Likewise, a spokesperson for General Mills, which also makes Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Häagen-Dazs, confirmed a pause, saying: ‘We will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend.’
Carmakers appear especially worried about fair treatment under Musk, who is the CEO of rival Tesla, and last week General Motors announced it had ‘temporarily paused’ all paid advertising on Twitter.
As well, Oreo-maker Mondelez International and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have both paused their Twitter ad spending, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter.
Carmaker Audi and General Mills, the packaged-food titan behind Cheerios, have joined a growing list of companies halting their ad spending on Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership
General Mills, which makes Cheerios, Pillsbury and Häagen-Dazs, confirmed a pause, saying: ‘We will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend’
‘We have currently paused paid support on Twitter and will continue to evaluate the situation,’ an Audi spokesperson told DailyMail.com on Thursday
Spokespersons for Mondelez and Pfizer did not immediately respond to requests for comment from DailyMail.com on Thursday evening.
Twitter has stopped responding to all press inquiries, except for the few that Musk answers by tweet.
Musk last week promised advertisers he would keep Twitter from turning into a ‘free-for-all hellscape’ and is now scrambling to convince advertisers that he will uphold the commitment.
Some advertisers have reportedly vowed to boycott Twitter for good if former president Donald Trump is allowed to return. Musk said on Wednesday it would be several weeks before a process is in place to reinstate banned accounts.
A media buyer at one major ad agency, who declined to be named for fear of reprisal, said the agency would meet with Musk this week to ask how the Tesla boss plans to handle misinformation on the social media platform.
The buyer also wanted to know how Musk’s pledge squared with his own actions, including one tweet over the weekend that spread a baseless conspiracy theory about the attack against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul.
Other topics include Musk’s plan to raise the cost of Twitter’s subscription service and serve ‘half as many ads,’ and who will serve as advertisers’ point of contact after a procession of senior executives, including Twitter’s ad chief, left the company since he took over.
The ad agency’s top clients are expected to join the meeting, the media buyer said.
Oreo-maker Mondelez International has also reportedly paused Twitter ad spending
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer also paused its Twitter ad spend, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter
After tweeting in 2019 about his dislike of advertising, Musk is now under pressure to avoid alienating the advertisers who contribute more than 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue.
He is spending his first week as CEO in New York, with venture capitalist friends joining him in meetings to reassure companies that contribute more than $5 billion annually to Twitter.
Jason Calacanis, an angel investor and podcast host who is assisting Musk in his first week of ownership, tweeted on Monday that Twitter had a ‘very productive day’ of meetings with advertisers and marketers.
Another media buyer who spoke with Reuters said their agency will not meet with Musk until he articulates a direction for Twitter or provides a substantive update on how the platform will serve advertisers.
Some clients have already begun to pause ad spending on Twitter this week, said the second media buyer, who declined to name the advertisers as the source was not authorized to do so.
The buyer said some clients had already pulled out of Twitter due to the months-long chaos around the deal, and some in response to concerns about child sexual abuse material on Twitter.
Jason Calacanis, who is assisting Musk in his first week of ownership, tweeted on Monday that Twitter had a ‘very productive day’ of meetings with advertisers
Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday night with a poll asking users whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or ‘political correctness’
IPG, an advertising holding company that represents major clients including Coca-Cola and American Express, has advised clients to pause their Twitter ads for the next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Even as Musk took meetings with major agencies and advertisers this week, he took to Twitter on Wednesday night with a poll asking users whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or ‘political correctness.’
Of more than two million votes, nearly 80 percent answered ‘freedom of speech.’
‘Those type of provocations are not helping to calm the waters,’ the media buyer said.
More marketers also took to LinkedIn to voice their concerns about Musk’s takeover of the platform.
‘Unless Elon hires new leaders committed to keeping this ‘free’ platform safe from hate speech, it’s not a platform brands can/should advertise on,’ said Allie Wassum, global director of social and integrated media for Jordan shoe brand, which is owned by Nike, in a post on Linkedin.
Wassum did not respond to a request for further comment.