Marketing Roundup: Advertisers Pause Twitter Spend

by Frankie Pike

General Mills, Audi, Pfizer, General Motors, Volkswagen, and other brands have announced they are pausing advertising on Twitter amidst Elon Musk’s takeover of the company. 

Advertisers have expressed concern that Musk will scale back content moderation, which could lead to more extremist content on the platform.

Making matters worse, Musk has taken to ranting about activists and subtweeting celebrities. Twitter’s own fact-checking system marked one of his tweets as misleading and inaccurate.

Musk’s tweet was marked as misleading and inaccurate.

Musk also announced that Twitter would begin charging $8 monthly for blue verified checkmarks, with anyone able to purchase a checkmark. Historically, checkmarks were given only to the verified accounts of celebrities, politicians, major scientists, and journalists who are impersonated online.

He also said he’s considering adding paid direct messages, so anyone could send private messages to high-profile users.

Twitter users are not pleased with the proposed changes. Many are making fun of Musk, cautioning against him (especially with upcoming elections), and/or questioning his judgment.

That said, for brands exploring whether investing in growing their brand on Twitter makes sense, we recommend this resource.

Amazon gives Prime members ad-free access to expanded music catalogue

In an era of “rebundling,” as The Wall Street Journal puts it, Amazon is making more music and podcasts available to Prime members at no extra cost.

Beginning Tuesday, Prime members will go from having access to 2 million songs to 100 million songs. This is essentially what Spotify’s free tier offers minus the ads.

Members still won’t be able to listen to specific songs on demand, but they will be able to listen to specific artists’ catalogs and albums as well as all-access playlists.

Amazon is the third-largest music service by subscriptions, preceded by Spotify and Apple Music, but with Apple Music raising its subscription fee by a dollar last week and planning to continue to raise prices in 2023, Amazon could take over the No. 2 spot.

“When [Amazon Prime] launched it was a free shipping service and music was a deal sweetener. Now that’s changed—it’s a subscription service that has entertainment and free shipping.”

-Midia analyst Mark Mulligan

Other news

  • Victoria’s Secret is buying D2C competitor Adore Me, and the Ohio attorney general filed a lawsuit against Dollar General for false advertising of prices: These were the big marketing winners and losers this week.
  • Here’s some interesting aggregated customer data from TripleWhale, a software used by eCommerce stores, on ad spend. Given the volume of customers that TripleWhale has, this data is likely fairly representative.
  • Instagram recently announced new ad types, including free music for carousel ads on Reels, ads in the Explore tab, AI-powered multi-advertiser ads, and a beta version of augmented reality ads.
Instagram’s new augmented reality ads
  • British supermarket chain Asda is the first brand to use Will Ferrell’s character Buddy the Elf in its advertising. The 2003 film continues to be popular around the holiday season.
Have your Elf a Merry Christmas | Asda Christmas Advert 2022

That’s all for this week. Check back next week for more news. And subscribe to our newsletter below for additional updates.