Daily Management Review

Elon Musk Is Questioned By Advertisers About The "Free-For-All" On Twitter


Elon Musk Is Questioned By Advertisers About The "Free-For-All" On Twitter
Elon Musk pledged to protect Twitter from becoming a "free-for-all hellscape" to advertisers. Advertisers have started asking for information on how he intends to uphold the commitment this week.
One significant advertising agency's media buyer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said the company would meet with Musk this week to discuss how the Tesla CEO intends to combat false information on social media.
The buyer also wanted clarification on how Musk's promise fit with his own behavior, such as a weekend tweet that spread a hoax about the attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul.
Other topics include who will act as the point of contact for advertisers after a string of senior executives, including Twitter's head of advertising, left the company since he took over, as well as Musk's plan to increase the price of Twitter's subscription service and serve "half as many ads."
The media buyer stated that the agency's top clients are anticipated to attend the meeting.
Musk is currently under pressure to avoid alienating the advertisers who generate more than 90% of its revenue after tweeting in 2019 about his dislike of advertising. He is spending his first week as CEO in New York, where he is meeting with businesses that give Twitter more than $5 billion a year with the help of venture capitalist friends.
During Musk's first week as CEO, podcaster and angel investor Jason Calacanis tweeted on Monday that meetings with marketers and advertisers at Twitter had been "very productive."
Another media buyer told Reuters that their company would not meet with Musk until he gave Twitter a clear direction or gave a detailed update on how the platform would benefit advertisers.
The second media buyer, who declined to identify the advertisers because the source was not authorized to do so, claimed that some clients have already started to pause ad spending on Twitter this week.
The buyer claimed that due to the months-long turmoil surrounding the deal and some clients' reactions to worries about child sexual abuse content on Twitter, some clients had already stopped using Twitter.
According to a person familiar with the situation, IPG, an advertising holding company that represents well-known clients like Coca-Cola and American Express, has advised clients to pause their Twitter advertisements for the upcoming week.
Musk polled users on Twitter on Wednesday night about whether advertisers should support freedom of speech or "political correctness" while he was meeting with major agencies and advertisers this week. Eighty percent of the more than a million voters chose "freedom of speech."
"Those type of provocations are not helping to calm the waters," the media buyer said.
More marketers expressed their worries about Musk's takeover of the platform on LinkedIn.
"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.