Walmart (WMT.N) announced on Friday that it has joined the growing list of brands that are no longer advertising on the social media platform known as “X,” previously recognized as Twitter.
A spokesperson for Walmart stated, “We aren’t advertising on X as we’ve found other platforms to better reach our customers.” This decision highlights the company’s shift in advertising strategy away from X.
X, which has undergone significant changes since Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company in October 2022, is currently facing a major challenge in retaining advertisers.
The platform has experienced a recent wave of advertisers leaving due to increasing concerns regarding the presence of antisemitic content.
The controversy surrounding X intensified when Elon Musk engaged with a user on the platform who had made false claims suggesting that members of the Jewish community were promoting hatred against white people.
Musk shockingly endorsed the user’s false statements, describing them as “the actual truth.”
Furthermore, the user referenced the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, alleging that Jewish individuals and leftists are orchestrating the replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants, ultimately leading to a “white genocide.”
In response to the backlash and criticism stemming from his controversial comments, Elon Musk issued an apology during an interview at a New York Times DealBook event.
However, he also strongly criticized advertisers that had suspended their ads on the platform, accusing them of engaging in “blackmail.”
Additionally, an executive at a major ad-buying agency, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed that X’s ad sales representatives appeared frustrated following Musk’s outburst against brands and were notably reticent in their conversations.
This ongoing controversy has had far-reaching consequences, with several prominent brands such as Apple (AAPL.O), Walt Disney (DIS.N), and Warner Bros Discovery (WBD.O) choosing to suspend their advertisements on X.
Their decision was influenced by a report from the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, which highlighted instances where ads were displayed next to antisemitic posts on the platform.
In summary, Walmart’s decision to cease advertising on X underscores the platform’s ongoing struggles in retaining advertisers amid concerns about controversial content.
The situation serves as a broader reflection of the challenges social media platforms face in managing and addressing issues related to hate speech and harmful content.