Elon Musk hit with fresh blow as 50 top advertisers step away from Twitter

Elon Musk has been dealt a huge new blow after 50 of the world's top 100 advertisers pulled out of advertising on his newly-purchased Twitter, a reports has claimed.

The social media platform is believed to have taken a $2billion (£1.6bn) hit as a result, claims non-profit media watchdog Media Matters for America.

The report adds that seven other firms were also reducing their rates of advertising to negligible amounts.

"Since 2020, these seven advertisers have accounted for over $255million (£186m) in spending on Twitter and nearly $118m (£102m) in advertising in 2022," it found.

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A number of major corporations – including Ford, Chevrolet and pharmaceutical giant Novartis – have been public with their decisions to move away from Twitter, with the former stating: "We will continue to evaluate the direction of the platform under the new ownership."

Others, meanwhile, dubbed 'quiet quitters' in the form of American Express, Coca Cola, CNN and Dell have stepped back without any formal announcement.

"These companies were previously advertising on Twitter, but then stopped for a significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers," the report stated.

Researchers attributed the scaling back of advertising was linked to Musk's 'amplification of conspiracy theories', his decision to reinstate previously banned users such as former US president Donald Trump, and his new verification scheme, which allows any user to purchase the famous blue tick.

On Friday Musk announced an upcoming 'painful' change to Twitter that will see a change to verification badges.

Taking to Twitter after a week of delays to the roll out of the new scheme, Musk has released an update.

Musk wrote: "Sorry for the delay, we're tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week.

"Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates.

"Painful, but necessary."

Worries over authenticity prompted Musk to reiterate that "deliberate impersonation/deception will result in account suspension" and also stated that "individual humans will have same blue check".

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