Twitter loses half of top advertisers since Elon Musk takeover: report – USA TODAY

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The list of brands pulling ads from Elon Musk’s Twitter appears to be growing.
Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have halted spending on the platform since Musk took over the company at the end of October, according to a report by liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America published last week.
The 50 brands, the report said, have spent nearly $2 billion in advertising on the platform since 2020 and more than $750 million in 2022 alone as of Nov. 21.
Seven additional advertisers that have spent more than $255 million on Twitter ads since 2020 have significantly slowed advertising to almost nothing, according to the report.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
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Some companies such as Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, FordJeep and Merck have issued statements or have been reported as pausing Twitter ads and confirmed doing so, the report said. 
The majority of advertisers on the list, however, have stopped spending on the platform for a “significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers,” according to a Media Matters analysis of data from ad analytics firm Pathmatics
An analysis by The Washington Post found more than a third of Twitter’s top advertisers have not advertised on the platform in the two weeks before Nov. 22. Jeep and Mars didn’t have advertisements on the site since at least Nov. 7 as of last week, The Post reported.
General Motors was among the first companies that announced it was pausing advertising on Twitter shortly after Musk closed the $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform. Volkswagen Group also recommended its brands suspend advertising. 
General Mills confirmed this month that it has paused its Twitter ads. 
“We have paused advertising on Twitter,” General Mills tweeted. “As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend.”
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Many companies have halted advertising on Twitter because of concerns over the platform’s new content moderation policies. 
Twitter’s rollout of its new paid verification system affected some brands’ images as parody accounts posing as companies flooded the platform before the service was paused. 
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly reportedly paused all Twitter advertising after a fake verified account tweeted, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now,” The Washington Post reported
In a message to advertisers, Musk assured brands last month that Twitter won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.”
A coalition of advocacy groups, including Media Matters, has called on advertisers to stop spending on the platform because of concerns that mass layoffs would impede Twitter’s ability to moderate content.
Musk blamed activist groups pressuring advertisers for Twitter’s “a massive drop in revenue” shortly after his takeover.  
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Musk, who recently said he’s granting “amnesty” to suspended users, had promised he would create a content moderation council that would decide whether to reinstate banned accounts.
“A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition,” Musk tweeted. “They broke the deal.”
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