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Saturday, 02 December 2023 07:01

Walmart joins Disney, others to stop advertising on Elon Musk’s X

The United States’ largest retailer, Walmart has stopped advertising on the platform X, owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

This decision marks a departure from X after Musk’s recent string of disparaging comments and positions Walmart as the first major company to distance itself from the controversial platform, a report by Bloomberg has said. 

Based on reports, Walmart has chosen to discontinue its advertising on X, citing a preference for alternative platforms that better connect with its customer base. The retail company joins Disney, IBM, Sony and other companies to “abandon cart” on the X platform. 

What Walmart said 

  • “We aren’t advertising on X as we’ve found other platforms to better reach our customers,” a Walmart spokeswoman stated.

She declined to say when the change takes effect or what motivated it. 

Joe Benarroch, X’s head of business operations, said via email that Walmart “has a wonderful community” of more than 1 million followers on X, and that most of the site’s users do their shopping online. 

While Walmart refrained from explicitly linking its decision to Musk’s comments, the move aligns with a broader trend of companies withdrawing their ads from X. This trend gained momentum after Musk publicly expressed agreement with an antisemitic tweet over two weeks ago, prompting notable entities such as Disney, Sony, and IBM to follow suit in abandoning the platform. 

Interestingly, Walmart’s departure from X comes amidst Musk’s contentious interview with the New York Times at the DealBook Summit.  

During the interview, Musk apologized for his endorsement of the antisemitic tweet, characterizing it as “one of the most foolish things” he has done on the platform. However, the apology emerged only after Musk accused departing advertisers of attempting to “blackmail” him with monetary leverage, punctuating his sentiments with a dismissive directive, towards Disney and other advertisers who left the platform. 

What this means for business on Musk’s X 

This development adds to the broader narrative of challenges faced by X, which has witnessed several advertisers departing since Musk’s acquisition of the platform, formerly known as Twitter, last year for a substantial $44 billion.

Advertising constitutes X’s primary revenue stream, and the fallout from Musk’s controversial statements has contributed to a notable 60% decrease in U.S. ad revenue, as acknowledged by Musk in September. 

Meanwhile, Musk expressed concerns during the DealBook Summit interview that an advertiser boycott could potentially “kill the company,” insisting that the blame for such a scenario would be shared globally among advertisers. 

As this unfolds, Walmart’s stock has experienced a marginal decline of over 1% on the market. Despite this, the retailer’s share price maintains an overall positive trajectory, boasting a 7% increase for the year.  

[Nairametrics]

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