Twitter continues to lose some of its biggest ad clients following Elon Musk’s takeover, with Apple the latest company to halt ads on the platform.
“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter,” the South African mogul wrote Monday. “Do they hate free speech in America?”
According to Financial Times, multiple top advertising agencies and media buyers say that nearly all of the big brands they represent have paused spending on the social media platform, citing alarm at Musk’s ad hoc approach to policing content and decision to axe many of its ad sales team.
According to nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters, 50 of the platform’s top 100 advertisers, which have accounted for about $2 billion in spending since the start of 2020.
Musk, meanwhile, has sought to personally call chief executives of some brands that have curbed advertising in order to berate them leading others to instead reduce their spend to the bare minimum required so as to avoid further confrontation with the billionaire entrepreneur.
High-profile companies to issue statements about halted advertising on the site in recent weeks have included Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ford, and Jeep.
After several waves of job cuts and departures, Twitter’s ads business team has shrunk so much that many agencies no longer have any point of contact at the company and have received little to no communication in recent weeks, according to reports.
Other noticeable names to apparently nix their relationship with the company consist of cheese giant Kraft, Coca Cola, Nestle, Chanel, AT&T, CNN, Heineken, and Kellogg’s – dubbed ‘quiet quitters’ by the watchdog, due to their stopping advertisements without issuing a formal statement outlining their doing so.
The mass exodus also stems over ethical concerns regarding the company’s planned new direction under Musk, 51, who has aired plans to increase revenue through subscriptions and offer users increased ‘free speech.’
Musk is under pressure to draw revenues from Twitter, as he faces $1bn in annual interest payments after loading the company with $13bn of debt to help fund his acquisition of the business.