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General Motors temporarily pauses Twitter ad spend after Musk's takeover

General Motors temporarily pauses Twitter ad spend after Musk's takeover

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General Motors (GM) is temporarily pressing pause on its advertising on Twitter after Tesla chief's Elon Musk acquisition of the company, multiple media reports including CNBC, CNN and Reuters said. CNBC reported that GM is currently evaluating Twitter's new direction and while it will continue to use the platform as a form of engagement with consumers, it will not advertise on Twitter. In particular, its customer care interactions on Twitter will carry on, CNBC added.

Twitter's ad revenue for the second quarter of 2022 totalled US$1.08 billion, an increase of 2% from the previous year. This formed more than 90% of Twitter's US$1.18 billion revenue for that quarter. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to GM and Twitter for comment.

Musk officially closed his US$44 billion acquisition deal of Twitter last week, ending a months-long saga that started in April this year. He even tweeted on 28th October that "the bird is freed". Alongside his takeover, Musk also fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and CFO Ned Segal, multiple media outlets including the Financial Times, said. Agrawal was named to the CEO role last year while Segal has been with the company since 2017. FT added that Musk also dismissed Twitter's head of legal policy and safety, Vijaya Gadde, and general counsel Sean Edgett.

Agrawal, Segal, and Gadde are expected to receive separation payouts amounting to approximately US$122 million, Reuters said quoting research firm Equilar. Terming this "golden parachutes", Reuters said Agrawal's is valued at US$57.4 million, while Segal's and Gadde's are US$44.5 million and US$20 million respectively.

While there were previous reports of Musk planning to cut 75% of jobs at Twitter, he dismissed them, FT said. Meanwhile, Twitter's new chief also denied that he is laying off employees earlier than 1 November just to avoid payouts. The claims were made in a New York Times report, which said that employees would be fired before a 1 November date when they were supposed to receive stock grants as part of their compensation. NYT explained that such grants usually form a significant portion of employees' pay.

Nonetheless, Musk has kickstarted the process of laying off employees, asking managers and advisers to name those who should remain or should leave, a separate FT report said recently. However, he is not eyeing a fixed percentage of layoffs from Twitter. Instead, he wants to fire those who do not back him as the leader, FT added quoting its sources. Twitter reportedly has 7,500 employees globally at the moment.

Musk previously accused Twitter of misleading him and the company's investors over the number of fake accounts on the platform. Twitter's future direction was also up in the air, especially since Musk previously declared himself to be a "free speech absolutist". 

On 29 October, Musk tweeted that Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with "widely diverse viewpoints". "No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes," he said. He added that the company has also not made any changes to Twitter's content moderation policies.

Just last month, Twitter witnessed several major brands including Cole Haan, Coca-Cola, PBS Kids, Walt Disney, Dyson, and Forbes pull their ads from the platform after appearing next to child porn tweets. Twitter's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE previously that it is working closely with its clients and partners to investigate the situation and take the appropriate steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

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