Elon Musk's behavior continues to make automakers nervous about Twitter advertising

Elon Musk’s behavior continues to make automakers nervous about Twitter advertising

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Anyone who paid attention to Elon Musk over the past two years already knew his takeover of Twitter was going to be a disaster, but watching it unfold was always painful. Is he intentionally trying to end his $44 billion investment? It certainly is, because everything he’s done so far has only made it harder for advertisers, including automakers, to justify continuing to spend money on the site. .

The Detroit Free Press recently posted a great summary how Musk has put advertisers in a difficult situation. And it’s not just now-deleted goofy masturbation jokes. He also threatened to launch a “thermonuclear name and shame” offensive against companies such as General Engines who decide to stop advertising on Twitter.

GM reportedly spent $1.7 million a month on Twitter ads before deciding to stop, which is more than $20 million a year. And now the Volkswagen Group has decided to do the same, pulling ads from all of its brands, including Audi. It seems inevitable that others will soon follow, especially since Musk is still the CEO of Tesla, one of their competitors.

Late last week, Musk had a call with a number of marketing executives trying to convince them to stay, and unsurprisingly, it didn’t go over well. Lou Paskalis, head of the highly influential Mobile Marketing Association, was on the call, responding to one of Musk’s erratic tweets with some mild criticism, and was quickly blocked by Musk. That’s not going to play well with advertisers at all levels, including members of the MMA board, which includes executives from AT&T, Visa, GM, MLB and Unilever.

As Free Put the:

Nobody wants ads to appear along with anti-Semitic messages or violent language because the optics are bad, unless for some odd reason that’s the demographic a company is specifically targeting. This is not political correctness. This is the basic trading strategy. The problem is not inherently with free speech or freedom, but with creating a brand or product that connects with the most consumers and avoids situations that alienate people.

The other problem is that by continuing to advertise on Twitter, automakers aren’t just enriching the CEO of one of their competitors. They also provide him with valuable data and insight into their advertising strategies. Musk would also have access to information about product launches before they are officially announced. On Thursday’s call, he said he only cared about Tesla’s data, but, understandably, that vague assurance wouldn’t have been enough to satisfy the advertising executives.

Of course, Elon could just stop being a whiny man-child who throws tantrums at companies who no longer want to be his friend. He could also stop tweeting Nazi propaganda. Damn, he might even stop tweeting altogether. But since none of that is likely to happen, he’ll likely have to contend with advertisers continuing to leave Twitter.

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