| 2 March 2024, Saturday |

After Musk tirade, X faces prospect of more advertisers fleeing

Ad industry analysts stated that social networking website X may see an increase in the number of advertisers leaving it after its billionaire owner, Elon Musk, criticized some of the largest companies for abandoning the platform.

Earlier this month, Walt Disney (DIS.N) and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD.O) halted their advertising on X after Musk endorsed an antisemitic article that erroneously claimed Jews were inciting hatred against White people.

After apologizing for his post while speaking at a New York Times DealBook event on Wednesday, Musk unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against advertisers for fleeing the platform and accused the brands of “blackmail.”

He appeared to single out Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, who spoke earlier at the event and said an association with X was “was not a positive one for us.”

“Companies need to protect the brands they work for,” said Lou Paskalis, founder of marketing consultancy AJL Advisory and former head of global media at Bank of America. “This isn’t advertisers getting together in a secret clubhouse to support an agenda.”

In a memo to employees on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters, X Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino said Musk’s interview was “candid and profound,” and encouraged staff to watch it. She reiterated that X’s mission is to be an open platform without censorship.

“Our principles do not have a price tag, nor will they be compromised – ever,” the memo said.

  • Reuters