Ever since billionaire and investor Elon Musk took over Twitter Inc last week, there have been constant updates and amendments on the social media platform.
It was only days after Elon Musk took over as the Twitter CEO and started firing top officials including former chief Parag Agarwal that Twitter’s chief customer officer Sarah Personette stepped down from her post.
Twitter’s top liaison to the advertising community, Sarah Personette, reached out from her Twitter handle on Tuesday morning, saying that she had stepped down from office last Friday, bringing further alteration to a C-suite that saw the removal of CEO Parag Agarwal, Chief Financial Officer- Ned Segal, General counsel- Sean Edgett, and public policy and trust and safety head- Vijaya Gadde.
The resignation marks another twist in the days following Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform. Although advertisers hope for reassurance from Twitter under a possibly volatile owner who had earlier shared his indifference to advertising while promoting freedom of speech at whatever cost.
Musk also said, that after taking over Twitter, he would moderate its content limits and censorship, and present a subscription based profit model to the company. But the takeover had been haunting advertising companies for months.
According to a report published by The Washington Post on October 20, 202a Tesla owner and billionaire Elon Musk told prospective investors that he wishes to cut nearly 75 per cent of the Twitter staff as a part of his deal to take over the company.
The series of hurried amendments is already showing up with its negative consequences. The platform has already been sued for not giving proper information about its plan of firing about 3700 employees.
Advertisers are also afraid of the potential impact of the content moderation policy introduced by Musk. Major companies such as Volkswagen AG, Pfizer Inc and General Mills Inc. have paused advertising on Twitter for the time being.
Most advertisers are worried that Mr. Musk could scale back content moderation, which they are scared would lead to a rise in objectionable content on the platform. Others are temporarily suspending their advertisements because of the uncertainty at the company as top liaisons’ exit and Mr. Musk is about to bring a shift in dynamics, according to some people.
Here are some of the first brands to suspend spending on advertisements on Twitter—
On Thursday, the company spokesperson Whaewon Choi-Wiles said, “We have currently paused paid support on Twitter and will continue to evaluate the situation.”
Kelsey Roemhildt, a spokesperson for General Mills whose brands include Cheerios, Bisquick and Häagen-Dazs., told CNN in a statement, “We have paused advertising on Twitter. As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend.” The company paused its spending on Twitter last week.
In an emailed response to CNBC news, the company said,“We are engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership. As is normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising. Our customer care interactions on Twitter will continue.”
The Detroit automaker, which is a fierce competitor of Musk’s electric vehicle maker Tesla said that it is “pausing” advertising as it awaits to assess Twitter’s new direction. It will continue to use the platform to communicate with customers but will not pay for advertisements.
A spokesman at Ford Motors, which is another Tesla rival, told CNBC that the car maker is not presently advertising on Twitter, and had not been doing so prior to Elon Musk’s acquisition deal. He added, “We will continue to evaluate the direction of the platform under the new ownership.”
However, when confronted with a screenshot of a promoted tweet from the automaker’s CEO Jim Farley, the spokesperson could not tell when was the last time the company or its collaborators may have paid for ads, including promoted tweets, on the platform.Ford is continuing to interact with its customers on Twitter.
Ad giant Interpublic Group recommended that clients of its IPG Media Brands agencies temporarily terminate all paid advertising on Twitter at least for a whole week.
Interpublic Group refused to make its spokespersons available for a comment on this matter. Even Twitter did not respond to any comment related to this query. Interpublic’s advice to clients was previously reported by Morning Brew.
The Wall Street Journal published that Oreo-maker Mondelez International has halted advertising on Twitter.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has also suspended advertising on Twitter.
As per a report published by Reuters, a Volkswagen spokesperson said, ”We are closely monitoring the situation and will decide about next steps depending on its evolvement.”
The decision by Volkswagen Group, which covers brands like the VW, Seat, Cupra, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati and Porsche, sounds similar to the remarks from other firms such General Motors, General Mills, Mondelez International and Pfizer, etc.
Europe’s most prominent and proficient car maker said in a statement, “We are closely monitoring the situation and will decide about next steps depending on its evolvement.”
According to the company’s ad executives, Musk has been working hard to dispel the fear of advertisers—both publicly and privately—that the social media platform will remain a secure place for brands. Since his last week’s tweet that Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape,” the billionaire CEO has participated in many meetings and video calls with some of the world’s major ad companies and blue-chip advertisers.