Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Walmart decided to stop advertising on Elon Musk’s X, joining a slew of other major companies that have fled the social media platform in recent weeks.
“We aren’t advertising on X as we’ve found other platforms to better reach our customers,” a Walmart spokesperson told Reuters, which first reported on the retail chain’s decision to suspend ad campaigns on the website formerly known as Twitter.
Musk’s profane response to fleeing advertisers
Walmart’s decision to stop advertising comes after Musk, X’s owner, told boycotting advertisers to “go fuck yourself” while being interviewed at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit.
X’s most recent advertiser problems began in mid-November after Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory posted by another user on the platform.
“You have said the actual truth,” Musk replied to a user who shared the conspiracy known as the Great Replacement Theory, which claims that Jewish organizations are trying to replace white people in the U.S. and European nations with immigrants from minority groups. Musk later went on to further discuss how groups like the ADL refuse to “criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat.”
A Media Matters report published the next day also added to X’s issues as it found numerous brands’ advertisements on pro-Nazi content.
Shortly after Musk’s comments and the report, advertisers started to drop the platform.
Walmart is a blip among a long list of X departures
IBM was the first to pull its ads. Companies like Apple, Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Paramount followed soon after.
In the fallout of the advertiser boycott, Musk and co. sued Media Matters over its report, placing the blame for its lost ad revenue squarely on the organization’s findings.
At the DealBook Summit earlier this week, Musk attempted to explain away parts of his comments, which landed X in trouble by claiming he was talking about Jewish groups who fund minority groups that do not support Israel. Musk did not specify which groups he was talking about — nor did Musk say anything further about his initial reply of support to the Great Replacement Theory post.
Disney CEO Bob Iger also spoke at the DealBook Summit event, albeit prior to Musk telling Iger to “go fuck himself,” and shared the exact reason why Disney stopped advertising: Musk, himself.
“By him taking the position that he took in quite a public manner, we just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us,” Iger explained. “And we decided we would pull our advertising.”
It appears that Walmart is just the latest company to make a similar calculation.