Omnicom, one of the world’s biggest ad firms, representing brands like McDonald’s, Apple, and PepsiCo, is recommending clients pause spending on Twitter, according to an internal memo obtained by The Verge.
Omnicom Media Group is recommending clients “pause activity on Twitter in the short term,” according to a note titled “Twitter - Continued Brand Safety Concerns.” The memo cites recent events in the last few days that have “potential serious implications” for brands running ads on the platform.
“The risk to our clients’ brand safety has risen sharply to a level most would find unacceptable”
The memo cites the deep layoffs of Twitter trust and safety teams, the resignations of high-profile executives, and the slew of “verified” impersonation accounts as being key issues for advertisers. There is “evidence that the risk to our clients’ brand safety has risen sharply to a level most would find unacceptable,” the memo reads. “We recommend pausing activity on Twitter in the short term until the platform can prove it has reintroduced safeguards to an acceptable level and has regained control of its environment.”
The memo goes on to say that Omnicom has “formally requested that Twitter assure us that these issues will not impact compliant processes, operations, products, brand safety and client investment on the platform in any way” but that “seemingly due to the lack of senior leadership now in these areas, Twitter has not been able to give those assurances.”
It’s the latest in a string of advertisers that have changed plans following the chaos at Twitter since Elon Musk’s takeover. Last week, IPG, another ad agency giant, recommended its clients suspend their advertising on Twitter, according to CNBC. Companies like Volkswagen, General Motors, and General Mills have also pulled ad spending from Twitter in recent weeks.
The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from ads, and despite Musk’s questionable efforts at soothing their concerns, advertisers are worried about their content showing up next to an influx of hate speech and impersonations. They’re also concerned about Musk’s own tweets, like his threats to “thermonuclear name & shame” advertisers who pull their money from the platform.
In Musk’s first email to Twitter employees, the billionaire owner said roughly half of the company’s revenue would need to come from subscriptions. But in the last few days, Twitter Blue, the premium tier for $7.99 a month that Musk has been pushing, has been through tumultuous changes in the short time it’s been live. As of writing, Twitter Blue has been suspended just days after the rushed launch — though who’s to say that won’t change in an hour.