Friday, July 19, 2024

X, the company formerly known as Twitter, is facing up to a $75 million loss in ad revenue by the end of the year as major brands pause their marketing campaigns after owner Elon Musk recently endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Internal documents from X show that the company is in a more grave position than previously thought, with concerns about Musk and the platform extending beyond companies like IBM, Apple, and Disney whose advertising campaigns were paused last week. More than 200 companies like Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft have either paused or are contemplating pausing their ads on the platform.

X stated that $11 million in revenue was at risk and the precise figure was ever-changing as some advertisers returned to the platform and others raised their spending. These revenue risks come during the most profitable quarter for X, with brands traditionally running holiday promotions for events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The company is trying to woo back advertisers to counteract shortfalls in revenue caused by Musk’s behavior and content moderation decisions.

Amid these efforts, internal documents indicate that the company’s plans haven’t gone accordingly. Over 100 brands are shown as having fully paused their ads, while dozens more are considered at risk. The brands that paused their ads on X range from political campaigns to fast food chains to tech giants. Advertisers like Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber are among those that declined to comment.

X is now suing a media watch group, Media Matters, blaming them for its declining ad sales after a report found that ads on X from companies like IBM and Apple appeared next to posts promoting white nationalist and Nazi content. X CEO Linda Yaccarino cut a defiant tone, proclaiming X’s solidarity with free speech and blaming declining ad sales on external criticism.

Earlier this week, Elon Musk praised companies continuing to advertise on X, and announced that the company would donate all revenue from advertising related to the war in Gaza to hospitals in Israel and the Red Cross/Crescent in Gaza.

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