Half of Twitter's top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website. A report from Media Matters for America states that these 50 advertisers have spent almost $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020 and more than $750 million just in 2022.
Seven additional advertisers have slowed their advertising to almost nothing, according to the report, which was published on Tuesday. These companies have paid Twitter more than $255 million since 2020.
Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Ford, Jeep, Kyndryl, Merck & Co. and Novartis AG all issued statements about halting Twitter ads or were reported and confirmed as doing so. The others ceased advertising on the platform for a "significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers."
The report wrote that even with these hits to advertising revenue, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has "continued his rash of brand unsafe actions — including amplifying conspiracy theories, unilaterally reinstating banned accounts such as that of former President Donald Trump, courting and engaging with far-right accounts, and instituting a haphazard verification scheme that allowed extremists and scammers to purchase a blue check."
Twitter users like author Stephen King have criticized the new blue checkmark system. The symbol used to verify the identity of Twitter accounts, so it was easy to confirm a tweet's source.
Eli Lilly and Co. stopped showing ads on Twitter the day after an account impersonating the pharmaceutical company — complete with a purchased blue check mark — posted, "We are excited to announce insulin is free now."
Eli Lilly asked Twitter to take it down, but the tweet remained up for hours, because the platform's staff was stretched thin due to recent layoffs and resignations. The tweet garnered hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes, and Eli Lilly's stock soon took a dive.
Endpoints News reported that 12 pharmaceutical giants soon stopped buying Twitter ads, citing Pathmatics, which collects data on corporate advertising and digital marketing trends.
King quipped on Twitter, "Pretty soon the only advertiser left on Twitter will be My Pillow." The pillow-manufacturing company is run by pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell.
Twitter did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment.