Expressing frustration, Elon Musk tells brands like Apple to go elsewhere after they withdraw ads from platform X


Elon Musk alleges advertisers are attempting to manipulate and extort him by withholding payment for ads on his platform. This claim comes in the wake of a growing trend where companies, including Apple and Disney, have ceased advertising on X.

Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest individual, has faced a tumultuous relationship with advertisers since assuming control of Twitter last year. Known for his outspoken and critical nature, Musk recently sparked controversy by endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory on the platform, leading to a wave of ad boycotts from brands like Disney and Apple.

Despite apologizing for the post at the DealBook Summit, Musk further antagonized advertisers, labeling them as blackmailers. In a conversation with The New York Times, Musk conveyed his stance, stating, “If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go f**k yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey Bob (Iger), if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel, don’t advertise.”

While acknowledging the potential impact of an advertising boycott on the platform, Musk insisted that if Twitter were to shut down, the “whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company.” Notably, Musk directed this response to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who expressed dissatisfaction with Disney’s partnership with X during the summit.

Following Musk’s antisemitic post, major advertisers, including Disney, Apple, and IBM, initiated a halt to advertising on Twitter. The post, accusing Jewish communities of promoting “hatred against whites,” prompted widespread condemnation and could cost X up to $75 million in revenue this quarter, according to internal documents obtained by The New York Times.

Beyond advertiser concerns, investors who had offered billions of dollars for X’s acquisition may also be displeased with Musk’s stance and the unfolding advertiser boycott. Advertising constitutes a significant portion of X’s revenue, leading Musk to enlist industry veteran Linda Yaccarino to mend ties with major brands. Yaccarino was present in the audience when Musk publicly urged advertisers to stop blackmailing and cease sending advertisements if they wish to maintain a presence on the platform.

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