Omnicom, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies representing brands such as McDonald’s, Apple and PepsiCo, is advising clients to suspend spending on Twitter, and Omnicom Media Group is advising clients to “suspend activity on Twitter for the short term,” according to a note titled “Twitter – Ongoing Brand Security Concerns. The memo cites incidents in recent days that have “potentially serious implications” for brands advertising on the platform.
“The brand security risk for our clients has skyrocketed to a level that is unacceptable to most people.”
The memo cites deep cuts in Twitter’s trust and security team, executive resignations, and a large number of “verified” impostor accounts as key issues for advertisers.” There is evidence that brand security risks for our clients have risen dramatically to levels that most would consider unacceptable,” the memo reads.” We recommend suspending activity on Twitter for a short period of time until the platform can demonstrate that it has reintroduced safeguards to an acceptable level and regained control of its environment.”
The memo goes on to say that Omnicom has “formally requested that Twitter assure us that these issues do not in any way impact compliance processes, operations, products, brand security and customer investments on the platform,” but “it appears that Twitter has failed to provide these assurances due to a lack of senior leadership in these areas at this time.”
This is the latest in a string of advertisers who have changed their plans since Elon Musk took over Twitter. Last week, another ad agency giant, IPG, advised its clients to suspend advertising on Twitter, CNBC reported. In recent weeks, companies such as Volkswagen, General Motors and General Mills have also pulled their ad spending from Twitter.
Much of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising, and despite Musk’s dubious efforts to assuage their concerns, advertisers fear their content will appear alongside a flood of hate speech and copycats. They also worry about Musk’s own tweets, such as his threat to “thermonuclear name & shame” advertisers who pull money from the platform.
In Musk’s first email to Twitter employees, the billionaire said that about half of the company’s revenue needed to come from subscriptions. But Twitter Blue, the $7.99-a-month premium membership Musk has been pushing for the past few days, has undergone a tumultuous change in the short time since it went live. As of press time, Twitter Blue has been suspended just days after its hasty launch.