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Top Advertisers Flee X (Twitter) Amidst Continued Controversy

Notable brands such as Apple, IBM, Disney, and Sony have pulled their advertising on X (Twitter) in the wake of recent controversial comments made by Elon Musk in addition to the discovery that their advertisements were apparently placed alongside flagrant, offensive content. Musk (and X) now refute the idea asserted by the nonprofit media outlet, Media Matters, that advertiser creatives were placed alongside controversial content. Sensor Tower data can be used to effectively determine the size of these advertisers on X (Twitter), the impact this advertiser exodus could have on the company, and where advertiser dollars could potentially flow.

X's Advertiser Exodus Resumes

Key Takeaways:

  • According to Pathmatics by Sensor Tower data, Apple, which was the eleventh largest advertiser on X (Twitter) in Oct'23 by US ad spend and fourth largest through 2023 YTD, has pulled its advertising from X (Twitter) in light of recent controversial and flagrant content appearing on the platform.

    • Similarly, PM by ST data shows that IBM was the fifth largest advertiser on X (Twitter) in Oct'23 by US ad spend, and is currently the sixth largest through 2023 YTD. Comcast, which also pulled X ads, was the 8th largest advertiser on X (Twitter) in Oct’23 and through 2023 YTD.

  • Per PM by ST Data, Apple, IBM, Sony, Disney, Comcast (NBC Universal), and Paramount collectively represented 7% of total US ad spend on X (Twitter) through 2023 YTD. Given that all of these large brands have now paused advertising on X (Twitter), the company will likely be pressured to both sell additional ad space to smaller advertisers and retain other large advertisers to bolster revenue.

  • Per PM by ST data, fifty out of the top 100 US advertisers on X from Oct’22 have completely ceased ad spending on the platform (as of Oct’23). This figure is up from 46 in Sep’23 and 43 advertisers in Aug’23. This may also be impacted by seasonality or business cyclicality.

For more information, request the full report from reports@sensortower.com.

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Abraham Yousef

Written by: Abraham Yousef, Senior Insights Analyst

Date: November 2023