Advertisers abandon X as ads appear alongside Nazi account

At least two brands are suspending advertising on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, after multiple companies’ adverts were showcased alongside a Nazi account.

The account, which promoted fascism by celebrating both Hitler and the Nazi Party, saw a host of household brand names displayed on the account, including Adobe, Gilead Sciences and NCTA-The Internet and Television Association.

The adverts, which garnered hundreds of thousands of views, were documented in a report from a non-profit news watch Media Matter for America.

Spokespeople for NCTA and pharmaceutical company Gilead told CNN that they have immediately suspended their ad spend on X, after being informed of their appearance on the account.

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“We take the responsible placement of NCTA ads very seriously and are concerned that our post about the future of broadband technology appeared next to this highly disturbing content,” NCTA spokesperson Brian Dietz said in a statement.

He also added that the organisations had specifically opted into X’s brand safety measures including keyword restrictions and limiting its ad placement to the “home feed of target audiences”.

Another affected brand, University of Maryland, expressed concern about the placement of the university’s ad since the institution had not recently spent money on advertising on X.

In response, the social media platform announced it has now suspended the account, and has run an investigation of the profile, which found the ad impressions on the page to be minimal.

The news follows less than a week after X CEO Lindo Yaccarino publicly affirmed the company’s commitment to brand safety for advertiser, in an attempt to lure users back after a recent significant dip in ad revenue.

X announced last week it had introduced additional brand safety controls for advertisers, including the ability to avoid their ads being showcased alongside “targeted hate speech, sexual content, gratuitous gore, excessive profanity, obscenity, spam, drugs”, with Yaccarino adding: “Your ads will only air next to content that is appropriate for you”.

After the incident was reported, Yaccarino posted: “Sensitivity Settings is live globally in the X ads manager — making it even simpler for all advertisers to find the right balance between reach and suitability.”

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