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Brand Safety: Top Indian, US companies pull back Twitter ads over policy uncertainty

Twitter 'Chief Twit' Elon Musk

*Some of India and United States’ biggest brands, temporarily, have paused advertising on Twitter despite the American billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s assurance to make the technology giant ‘the world’s most respected advertising platform’

Gbenga Kayode |  ConsumerConnect

Barely a week after Elon Musk acquired and took over global technology giant Twitter, some of India’s biggest brands have paused advertising on the leading microblogging site and social media platform.

ConsumerConnect learnt that several other advisers are also “wary” of advertising on the platform.

The top Indian brands are following suit for fear of a rise in ‘objectionable’ content under Musk’s stewardship, agency report said.

Recently, several United States (US) companies, including General Mills, United Airlines, and Audi of America, had said they were temporarily halting adverts on Twitter despite the American billionaire businessman’s promise to make it “the world’s most respected advertising platform”.

The apparent pullback, report stated, comes amid growing concerns that misinformation and ‘objectionable’ content may be allowed to proliferate on the Big Tech’s platform under Musk’s leadership, and that brands ads could appear alongside such content.

A Spokesperson for Mondelez India, the country’s largest chocolate maker, told ET in an e-mail: “We have paused paid advertising on Twitter as we seek clarity on the new direction and controls within the platform.”

She said the company has done so “because it takes brand safety very seriously”.

How ad sales contributions to Twitter revenue

Globally, ad sales contribute over three-fourths of the company’s revenues, but Indian companies spend a tiny sum on Twitter ads.  The foremost social media platform had over 23.6 million users in India as of January 2022, according to Statista.

It is recalled that ‘Chief Twit’ Musk, soon after taking over the company, had assured advertisers, that “Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise.”

The Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive’s later blamed pressure from “activist groups” for the pullback by the advertisers.

Twitter Blue coming soon

Meanwhile, Musk has disclosed that the new $8/month Twitter Blue subscription, which comes with a verification badge (blue tick), would “hopefully” be available in India in less than a month.

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