GM suspends Twitter advertising following Elon Musk takeover. General Motors has paused its Twitter advertising now that Tesla CEO Elon Musk owns the social media platform, the company announced Friday.
The country’s largest automaker stated that the change is being implemented while it evaluates “Twitter’s new direction.” It stated that it will continue to use the platform for customer interaction but will not pay for advertising.
“We are interacting with Twitter to better understand the platform’s direction under their new ownership.” “As is customary when a major change in a media platform occurs, we have temporarily paused our paid advertising,” the company said in an emailed statement.
Musk took control of Twitter on Thursday evening, capping a six-month period of on-again, off-again negotiations and court wrangling over the social media platform’s purchase. He was worried enough about the potential loss of ad revenue that he sent a letter to advertisers on Thursday to reassure them.
Despite his stated promise to rethink its content moderation policies and strengthen “free speech,” he stated that he does not want the platform to become a “free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.”
“Fundamentally, Twitter aspires to be the world’s most respected advertising platform, strengthening your brand and growing your business… “Let us work together to create something extraordinary,” he wrote in the letter.
“It sends a foreboding signal,” Ives said. “GM is the first, but it will not be the last.” We must wait to see if there is a wave. It’s not the news Musk wanted to hear on the day he closed the deal.”
GM (GM) competes with Tesla (TSLA) in car sales and is making a big push to sell its own electric vehicles, but it trails Tesla (TSLA) in total US electric vehicle sales. And, despite having ambitious EV growth plans, GM (GM) has only sold about 1% of its US sales so far this year, despite saying it will stop selling petroleum-fueled vehicles by 2035.
It’s also unlikely that Twitter will provide any financial assistance to Tesla, given that it loses hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter, whereas Tesla is profitable even when it has a disappointing quarter.
But, according to Ives, it can’t be ruled out that GM’s decision to pull its advertising was intended as a shot across Musk’s bow.
“It demonstrates how they see Tesla as a competitor in the EV space,” Ives said. However, if advertisers continue to withdraw their dollars from Twitter, it will not be just automakers.
A request for comment on GM’s statement Friday evening was not immediately responded to by Twitter.