Audi, Cheerios Maker General Mills Pause Twitter Advertising
General Mills and luxury car maker Audi of America said on Thursday they have suspended advertising on Twitter, days after the social media platform was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,37,500 crore). “We will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend,” said a General Mills spokesperson.
Audi of America, the Herndon, Virginia-based US unit of Audi – a Volkswagen Group brand – said it would “continue to assess the situation.”
The two companies join US giant General Motors, which said last week it was temporarily suspending paid advertising on Twitter.
The ad suspension comes after Musk said in an open letter to advertisers last week that he wanted Twitter to be “the most respected advertising platform” in an effort to earn their trust.
Ad sales accounted for more than 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue in the second quarter, and Reuters previously reported that the company was struggling to retain its business-critical, most active users.
At the advertisers’ presentation in May, some ad agencies and brands were already skeptical and worried about Twitter’s future.
Earlier on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources that Oreo maker Mondelez International and American drugmaker Pfizer have also temporarily suspended advertising through Twitter.
Twitter, Mondelez and Pfizer did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
On the eve of the deal closing last week, Musk appealed to advertisers in an open-book tweet, “Twitter clearly cannot be a free space, where anything can be said without consequences!… Twitter wants to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your business.”
Last week, Musk tweeted that the company would create a content moderation council with a “very different vision.” Musk said no major decisions on the content or restoration of accounts will take place before the council meets.
The self-described “absolutist of free speech” said in May that he would lift the Twitter ban on former US President Donald Trump, who was removed from the microblogging site in January last year at the risk of inciting violence after the US Capitol storm. . .
The question of getting Trump back on social media has been seen as a litmus test of how far Musk will go in making changes, even though Trump himself has said he won’t.
© Thomson Reuters 2022