X/Twitter to lose £millions in ad revenue as UK government pulls advertising budget

Social media platform X/Twitter is expected to be losing £millions in ad revenue as the UK government pulls its advertising plans, in what is the latest blow for Elon Musk.

Major businesses including IBM and Disney made similar announcements on Friday – after the Tesla boss tweeted an enthusiastic response to an antisemitic tweet which accused Jewish people of hating white people, calling it “the truth”.

According to The Telegraph, the government’s decision was a commercial one rather than a response to controversial comments from Musk, with the decision made before the anti-Semitic remarks were made. However, the government is still spending ad money with both Facebook and Instagram.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the UK government spent £5.4m on Twitter adverts in 2022. The move to stop advertising on the X/Twitter platform will add to Musk’s problems as he continues to try and reverse the slump in ad revenues.

Following revelations this summer that X had lost up to 50% of its advertising revenue since Elon Musk took over, X chief executive Linda Yaccarino travelled to London earlier this month in a bid to woo advertisers.

She is said to have met with a range of top advertisers including WPP chief executive Mark Read, as well as executives at agencies including Havas, Publicis and Omnicom.

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Following Musk’s recent comment, more than 150 rabbis called for businesses including Apple, Disney and Oracle to stop advertising on the social media site.

Tech company IBM said: “IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation.”

Earlier this year X/Twitter sued anti hate speech group the Centre for Countering Digital Hate for costing the site millions of dollars in revenue after it asked businesses to stop advertising due to hate speech on the site.

CCDH CEO Imran Ahmed described the move as “straight out of the authoritarian playbook” at the time.

In addition to the furore around controversial statements, the X boss has been accused of featuring too many irrelevant and annoying adverts across the platform.

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