Walmart, one of the largest retail giants, has recently joined the growing list of brands that have decided to quit advertising on X, formerly known as Twitter. The company announced that it will be suspending its advertising on the platform, citing unsatisfactory performance of its ads as the primary reason. This decision, which comes during the holiday shopping season, does not indicate a change in Walmart’s advertising policies but rather a strategic move to align their advertising costs with performance.
Walmart’s reduced advertising spending began in October, with the last ads being circulated around Thanksgiving Day. A spokesperson from the company stated that this cost-cutting measure is aimed at optimizing performance and does not rule out the possibility of future ads on the platform.
The controversial statements made by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, have played a significant role in the exodus of advertisers from X. Musk has been accused of anti-Semitism, which has led to several companies, including IBM, Disney, and Apple, suspending their advertising on the platform. Musk’s description of an anti-Semitic remark as “the real truth” and criticism of the Anti-Defamation League further fueled the controversy.
Adding to the turmoil, there has been an ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict that has resulted in tweets inciting hatred being circulated on X. The situation worsened when X placed advertisements for certain companies next to posts supporting Nazis, prompting IBM to halt its advertising spending.
Joe Benarroch, X’s chief of commercial operations, emphasized that Walmart has not made any formal announcement about quitting the platform since October. He also highlighted the company’s strong connection with its community of over one million people on X.
The consequences of Musk’s controversial statements have been severe for X. Alongside Walmart, numerous other major companies, particularly those in the entertainment industry, have suspended their advertising on the platform. The repercussions have prompted concerns about Musk’s approach to content management and moderation.
During the recent DealBook Summit in New York, Musk used explicit language in an interview to publicly criticize the advertisers who have boycotted X. He stated, “If anyone tries to blackmail me with publicity, fuck off,” and expressed his concern that the advertising boycott might lead to the downfall of the platform.
Since Musk’s acquisition of Twitter last year, the social media platform has faced challenges in retaining advertisers. Many companies are growing increasingly wary of Musk’s controversial statements and the impact they may have on the platform’s content management and moderation.
In summary, Walmart’s decision to suspend its advertising on X is a strategic move to align advertising costs with performance. This decision comes as part of a growing exodus of advertisers from the platform, prompted by Musk’s controversial statements and concerns about content management and moderation. The future of X as a platform for advertisers remains uncertain, as it continues to grapple with these challenges.