X, formerly known as Twitter, responded to the exodus of major advertisers including Apple, IBM, Disney, Comcast, Lionsgate and Paramount Global, but advertisers predict that the Elon Musk-owned platform will not be able to come back from the latest controversy.
Meanwhile, some marketers are also calling on X CEO Linda Yaccarino to resign, in order to protect her own reputation. The latest stream of advertisers pausing spend on the platform comes after Musk promoted an antisemitic post, and nonprofit media watchdog Media Matters for America released a report last Thursday revealing brands including Apple, X’s largest advertiser, had their ads run next to antisemitic content.
In an internal memo shared to the press by X, Yaccarino told employees that “there’s a vocal minority trying to use deceptive attacks to undermine our work. But on the other side, there are vocal supporters and courageous partners who believe in X and the meaningful work you are all doing.”
“While some advertisers may have temporarily paused investments because of a misleading and manipulated article, the data will tell the real story,” wrote Yaccarino, without clarifying what data she was referring to. “Because for all of us who work at X, we’ve been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination, as there's no place for it anywhere in the world.”
“It’s chaos,” said one ad executive who is close to brands that have paused their spend on X. Still, the ad executive doesn’t expect Yaccarino, who became CEO in June, will step down right now. “I would be surprised if Linda resigns so soon. She’s in a ‘can’t lose’ situation. No one will blame her if it fails, but she will be seen as a miracle worker if she establishes even small wins.”