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Musk blames ‘activist groups’ for major advertisers pausing spending on Twitter • TechCrunch

As mass layoffs start at Twitter, main advertisers are pausing their campaigns on the social community — a transfer that’s gotten the eye of newly minted CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet this morning, Musk blamed a “large drop” in Twitter income on “activist teams pressuring advertisers,” probably referring to an open letter despatched Tuesday by civil society organizations urging Twitter advertisers to droop their advertisements if Musk didn’t decide to implementing security requirements and neighborhood pointers.

Musk bemoaned the activist efforts, claiming that “nothing has modified with content material moderation” on Twitter. However latest developments inform a special story.

Sarah Personette, Twitter’s chief buyer officer, who managed the corporate’s relationships with advertisers, resigned from the corporate late final Friday. According to Bloomberg, Twitter shut off worker entry to sure content material moderation and coverage enforcement instruments, prompting staff to quote issues about misinformation forward of the U.S. midterm elections. (Musk later agreed to revive entry to the instruments.) And as part of the layoffs immediately, Twitter eradicated its curation staff, which was answerable for offering factual context — and corrections, if obligatory — to trending phrases and conversations on the platform.

The Wall Avenue Journal reported on Thursday that Common Mills, Audi and Pfizer have joined the rising record of corporations briefly pausing their Twitter advertisements. (Automaker GM final week grew to become the primary main model to announce a pause.) Oreo maker Mondelez and Volkswagen are additionally reevaluating their advert spend with the community, reportedly spooked by the departure of high executives over the previous week, together with chief advertising officer Leslie Berland and VP of world consumer options Jean-Philippe Maheu.

It factors to a bigger existential drawback: Per new MediaRadar analysis, advertisers have been fleeing Twitter ever since Musk introduced his intentions to purchase the corporate. The typical variety of advertisers on the platform dropped from 3,350 between January and April to three,100 between Might and September. Earlier than July, Twitter noticed greater than 1,000 new advertisers month-to-month, a quantity that dipped to 200 between July and August, in response to the survey.

Mondelez, whose manufacturers additionally embrace Ritz, Chips Ahoy!, Trident and Tate’s Bake Store, is among the many high 20 advertisers on Twitter when it comes to advert spend. On condition that advert gross sales accounted for greater than 90% of Twitter’s income in Q2 2022, its pullback alone is more likely to have a considerable impression on the platform’s backside line.

On Tuesday, a New York Occasions report revealed that IPG — one of many world’s largest promoting corporations, with clients reminiscent of Coca-Cola, American Categorical, Johnson & Johnson, Mattel and Spotify — issued a suggestion for shoppers to briefly pause their spending on Twitter due to moderation issues. In accordance with the piece, the World Alliance for Accountable Media (GARM), a coalition of platforms, advertisers and business teams combating dangerous content material on social media, additionally stated it was monitoring how Twitter deliberate to uphold previous commitments to take care of content material moderation.

Musk has made growing efforts to reassure advertisers that Twitter stays “model protected,” publishing an open letter to advertisers saying that Twitter wouldn’t turn out to be a “free-for-all hellscape” and asserting plans to kind a council to advise on content material moderation. In latest days, Musk has additionally participated in video calls with advert corporations together with WPP PLC, in response to the Wall Avenue Journal, throughout which he’s promised to rid Twitter of bots, add neighborhood administration instruments and introduce new methods to present advertisers the flexibility to decide on which content material to be close to.

Musk has little selection however to make good with Twitter’s sponsors. His deal to purchase the corporate included making Twitter take on $13 billion in debt from banks, which suggests the social community will owe about $1 billion a year in interest payments.

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