Twitter’s Ad Woes Continue: Walmart Joins the Growing List of Companies Exiting the Platform Amidst Musk Controversy


Walmart, the retail giant, recently announced its decision to quit advertising on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, adding to the growing list of companies distancing themselves from the social media giant. This move comes amidst a series of controversies initiated by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, which has resulted in several high-profile brands suspending their advertising on X.

Walmart’s decision to halt its advertising on X during the holiday shopping season is not attributed to a shift in its advertising policies but rather the underwhelming performance of its ads on the platform. The company has gradually decreased its advertising spending since October, with the last round of ads being circulated around Thanksgiving Day.

The controversy surrounding Musk began with his speeches, where he made controversial statements that resulted in accusations of anti-Semitism. IBM, a long-standing advertiser on X, was one of the first companies to withdraw its advertising due to these concerns. Later, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, tweets inciting hatred further intensified the negative sentiment towards the platform.

Walmart’s spokesperson stated that the decision to reduce advertising costs aligns with performance and is not necessarily permanent. This implies that the company may resume advertising on X in the future if certain conditions are met. Despite withdrawing its ads, Walmart has maintained an organic connection with its community of over one million people on X.

In addition to Walmart, other notable companies, including Disney, Apple, and various entertainment companies, suspended their advertising on X in November. This was in response to Musk’s description of an anti-Semitic remark as “the real truth” and his criticism of the Anti-Defamation League. These companies are concerned about their association with a platform that tolerates such controversial content.

Media Matters, an organization focused on monitoring media bias, reported that X had placed advertisements for some brands alongside posts supporting Nazis. This revelation further prompted IBM to pause its advertising spending on the platform. X responded by investigating the claims made by Media Matters and acknowledging the need for stricter content moderation.

Elon Musk’s involvement with X over the past year has raised concerns among advertisers. His unconventional approach to content management and moderation has made companies increasingly wary of associating themselves with the platform. This, coupled with the controversy surrounding his statements, has led to a loss of trust and advertisers reconsidering their advertising strategies.

At the recent DealBook Summit in New York, Musk publicly criticized the advertisers who had boycotted X and used explicit language to convey his frustration. He stated that any attempt to blackmail him with negative publicity would not work, and he expressed concerns that the advertising boycott could potentially harm the company.

In conclusion, Walmart’s decision to quit advertising on X adds to the growing list of companies distancing themselves from the platform. The controversies sparked by Elon Musk’s statements and the platform’s perceived lack of content moderation have led to a loss of trust among advertisers. While Walmart’s withdrawal is attributed to the underwhelming performance of its ads, the overall situation highlights the challenges faced by X in retaining advertisers. As the platform navigates these difficulties, it will need to address concerns related to content management and moderation to regain the trust of its advertisers.