The battle between Elon Musk and woke advertisers continues. The platform formerly known as Twitter has recently been bleeding advertisers due to an alleged antisemitic post that Musk liked. Advertisers like Disney, Walmart, and almost 200 others have pulled their dollars, with many pledging never to return. It is unlikely that Musk intended to promote antisemitism, as he met with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu shortly after the controversy bubbled up, but the meeting hasn’t persuaded companies from pulling their dollars.
In response, the Tesla CEO unleashed a tirade last week aimed at the companies fleeing X. At the New York Times DealBook Summit, musk pulled no punches when discussing the situation. He said: “If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f*ck yourself. Go. F*ck. Yourself.” Musk doubled down and called out Disney CEO Bob Iger by name, saying: “Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.”
Musk apologized for his perceived antisemitic post, but that hasn’t stopped advertisers from continuing to abandon X. Whether Musk was right or wrong appears to make no difference. If advertisers were looking to virtue signal to the left, they found the perfect opportunity, and industry analysts are piling on as well.
Lou Paskalis, the founder and chief executive of the marketing consultancy firm AJL Advisory, claimed: “There is no advertising value that would offset the reputational risk of going back on the platform.” It is a dubious claim, considering X has become more of a safe haven for conservatives since Musk bought the platform, and Republicans do, in fact, spend money. Just ask Bud Light and Target.
Recently, another company pulled its advertising from X, and Musk had something to say about the situation. Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress, reality television star, and owner of 11:11 Media, withdrew the advertising for her personal cookware line from the platform. The partnership was announced in October, but Hilton’s concerns over Musk’s alleged antisemitic comments prompted Hilton to pull the advertising for her cookware line.
Naturally, this begs the question: who thinks of cooking, and Paris Hilton comes to mind? Apparently not Elon Musk, as he had this astute observation regarding Hilton’s cookware line: “The ad campaign wasn’t super convincing tbh. I don’t think Paris cooks a lot.” A hilarious and likely true burn from the Space X head, but will his acerbic humor affect other advertisers? Musk has commented that X may not survive without advertising dollars, but his umbrage with the current glut of companies leaving the platform is apparent with every advertiser that leaves.
Elon Musk is one of the richest people in the world. He is also a businessman and certainly understands the need for X to receive advertisement money. He purchased the former Twitter to restore what was once a platform for free speech and the exchange of ideas. Twitter had devolved into a cesspool of censorship and leftist ideology, and the purchase by Musk rankled many on the left.
Likely, this has made it easier for woke corporations to abandon the social media giant, and Musk is not taking it well. Ultimately, the survival of X will depend on whether or not many of these corporations are actually more interested in making money or virtue signaling. For now, the jury is out
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