X did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The outburst was Musk’s strongest statement in the past two weeks against a growing brand bandwagon against X. Advertisers including Apple, NBCUniversal, Paramount, IBM and more, along with Disney, quit buying ads on X following reports from a group called Media Matters about antisemitic and other harmful material running near brands’ content on the site.
Related news: X sues Media Matters
On Nov. 15, Musk also came under pressure after he posted a reply on X that seemed to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
X has been in a tight spot ever since Musk bought the company late last year for $44 billion. Last month, X’s internal valuation was reportedly $19 billion, largely because of advertisers reducing spending on the site even before the latest turmoil. There have been signs that top brands, including Coca-Cola and AT&T, spent about 95% less money on X ads in the first 10 months of this year, compared to the first 10 months of 2022, according to a recent report from sales intelligence firm MediaRadar.
Musk once touted Apple as X’s “biggest advertiser,” and the iPhone maker was among the brands that froze ad campaigns there. Musk has had public fights with advertisers before, including a high-profile one with Apple. In November 2022, a month after he took over the company, Musk called out Apple on X, saying the company had “mostly stopped advertising.” By December, the sides had reconciled and Apple was back.
Advertisers have been on-again-off-again with X because while it can be volatile, it’s also a catalyst for marketing. Brands are often the subject of memes and trends that can be hard to ignore, and the platform plays a powerful role in culture.
Musk’s posting habits, however, have landed him in trouble. At the DealBook event, he said he regretted his tweet from two weeks ago that responded to an antisemitic trope.