Elon Musk Personally Reached Out To Twitter Advertisers To No Avail

As major advertisers continue to jump ship from the sinking barge that is Twitter, a recent report from the Financial Times says that the social media platform's new commander-in-chief directly approached the CEOs of many top-tier advertisers to express his discontentment with their withdrawal. Sources told FT that "nearly all" of the big brands staked in media spending and advertising on the app have suspended their purchasing — this group has recently expanded to include General Motors, General Mills, and Volkswagen, the newspaper reported. The unease, the sources reportedly said, stems from Elon Musk's all-over-the-place content moderation strategies and the mass exodus — both willing and unwilling — of Twitter staff, which included ad sales personnel.

Musk's alleged decision to phone up brand executives and gripe about the reduced spending woefully backfired; when news spread of his confrontation, even more advertisers shaved down their Twitter budgets, FT reports. The withdrawals come after Musk's sweeping layoffs decimated the advertisers' point of contact team so much that the businesses have barely heard from Twitter lately — if at all. The Times' sources added that Twitter's ad management systems have become so buggy that managing ads is now impossible — which could be attributed to the bare-bones staff, too.

Source says Musk alienated advertisers who 'wanted him to succeed'

Per the Financial Times, one of the top ad agency's executives said that Musk "seems to put off even those advertisers who wanted him to succeed." There is no shortage of urgency for Musk to keep profits high for the platform: Twitter advertising historically generated $5 billion per year in revenue, the Times said, but the company acquired $13 billion in debt to fund Musk's purchase of the platform. The interest payments of that debt alone will rack up to a billion each year, says the FT.

The newspaper adds that Musk and his in-pocket execs from Tesla and SpaceX passed around reassurances to high-dollar advertisers that Twitter was not doomed to become "a free-for-all hellscape" after Musk's purchase. And the ad industry leaders' impressions were, at first, positive, with one executive reportedly remarking that Musk appeared to know more about Twitter than the platform's former CEO Jack Dorsey ever did (via the Financial Times). But soon after, thousands were laid off and more quickly cut and ran, leaving a skeleton crew behind the façade of Twitter and igniting chaos within multiple departments, including ad sales.