Top global companies, including General Mills and Volkswagen, suspended their advertising on Twitter on Thursday as pressure builds on Elon Musk to turn his platform into a succesful business.
“We have paused advertising on Twitter,” said Kelsey Roemhildt, a spokesperson for General Mills, whose brands include Cheerios and Häagen-Dazs.
“As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend,” the spokesperson added, confirming a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The report, citing anonymous sources, also said that Volkswagen, drug giant Pfizer and Oreo-maker Mondelez International hit pause on Twitter ads.
US auto giant General Motors last week was the first major advertiser to suspend advertising following the takeover by Musk of Twitter for 44 billion dollars.
Officials and civil rights groups have expressed worry that Musk will open the site to uncontrolled hate speech and misinformation as well as reinstate banned accounts, including that of former US president Donald Trump.
Reports that Musk plans mass layoffs at the site, which would include content moderators, have also frazzled observers.
Advertisers are Twitter’s main source of revenue and Musk has tried to calm the nerves by reassuring that the site would not become a “free-for-all hellscape”.
Yet as a potential alternative source of revenue, Musk has touted an idea to charge $8 per month to verify users’ accounts, arguing the plan would create a new revenue stream for the company.