The Hits Keep Coming for X As Major Advertisers Bail
November 21, 2023
1 min 47 sec read
Things are never smooth sailing when it comes to Elon and X. Even as he introduces ways to make the platform more likable and sustainable, he finds a way to alienate.
As always, X (and Elon) can't seem to make friends this past week. The platform has suffered some pretty big hits, mostly due to statements made by Musk
and his very-public stance on all kinds of issues.
In the past week alone, a third-party analysis report suggested that X has made no real effort to combat misinformation about the Israel-Hamas war, prompting the European Commission to announce it would no longer advertise on X due to "widespread concerns relating to the spread of disinformation."
The very next day, IBM said bye-bye due to reports that X placed paid promotions in-stream with pro-Nazi material. Ouch.
But wait. On the same day, Elon "beefed up" and supported an anti-Semitic talking point on X, which has since been "linked to various attacks on Jewish people over the years." As a result, many advertisers, including Apple, Lionsgate, and Disney, have announced they will pause their campaigns on X. That's just the tip of the "Titanic Iceberg." More advertisers are abandoning X's sinking ship by joining the boycott.
We're not sure X has enough subscription plans to offset this mess, and just to round off all the fun, a federal judge rejected X's efforts to overturn an FTC fine of $150 million.
Oh, and an industry watchdog wants the FTC to look at X's new ad formats, stating that some of them are unclear in their disclosure. This could lead to a new investigation into X's ad practices, which is scrutiny the platform doesn't need at the moment.
Elon and his "open mouth policy" seem at the root of most of the disdain for X lately. And with X's ad revenue already about half of what it was last year, losing any major brand partner will significantly affect the sustainability of the app. Let's face it, Apple made a big statement when it jumped ship, prompting even more big names to join the party to say goodbye to Elon.
And, just to add some fuel to the fire, Meta's alternative real-time app Threads is still growing, especially for news discussion, attracting those journalists that Musk likes to deride.
The bottom line here is that Elon is again his worst enemy. He takes the "say whatever you want" theme of X to the limit, testing the bounds of what users and brands find acceptable, but if he wants to keep his pet platform alive, he might need to make a few concessions. The problem is that Elon doesn't seem to know what that means.
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