Advertisers flee, but Linda Yaccarino stays the course

Last week, Elon Musk appeared to endorse anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and posted on supporting white pride on its social platform X, formerly Twitter. Musk’s tweets were later highlighted with a Media Questions article which revealed that advertising from big companies had appeared alongside pro-Nazi content. The main advertisers then stopped their advertising spending on the platform. To respond to the controversy, CEO Linda Yaccarino sent a memo titled “Our Work Has Meaning,” reiterating her commitment to X.

As pressure mounts for the company to distance itself from its support of anti-Semitism, Forbes reported that advertisers also urge Yaccarino to resign. A former chairman of NBCUniversal with close ties to the advertising industry, Yaccarino had been brought into Musk’s company to repair relationships with the companies that account for the majority of X’s revenue. Advertisers were already concerned that their paid content would appear at side of anti-Semitic or bigoted messages, but they are particularly worried now, when the owner of the platform seems to be actively fueling conspiracies against the Jewish community.

Speaking to X employees in a company-wide email, Yaccarino expressed excitement about the company’s current direction. In the memo, first published by The Hollywood Reporter and obtained by The edgeshe claimed that advertisers had “temporarily suspended their investments” – an interesting way of putting it big advertisers like Apple, DisneyAnd IBM remove their stuff from the platform due to Musk’s apparent endorsement of anti-Semitism. She also accused articles she said were “manipulated” of damaging the platform’s reputation. “The data will tell the real story,” she wrote in her note, perhaps a reference to Post/screenshot from Musk indicating that he would continue Media Questions.

In response, Media QuestionsChairman Angelo Carusone said: “Elon Musk has spent the past few days making baseless legal threats, conjuring up bizarre conspiracy theories, and launching vicious personal attacks against his online ‘enemies.’ Even if he doesn’t follow through on his threat to sue, the stock’s volatility reinforces why big brands are rightly hesitant to partner with X.”

In the meantime, Semafor reports that Yaccarino hired his son Matt Madrazo to revive X’s political advertising business, hoping to make up for lost revenue from “temporarily suspended investments” from those who were previously some of the company’s biggest clients.

Read the full memo from Linda Yaccarino below:

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