GM temporarily suspends advertising on Twitter following Musk takeover

DETROIT — General Motors is suspending its advertising on Twitter following the takeover of the social media platform by Elon Musk, the company told CNBC on Friday.

The Detroit automaker, a Musk rival You’re heresaid he was ‘pausing’ advertising as he assessed Twitter’s new direction. It will continue to use the platform to interact with customers but will not pay for advertising, GM added.

“We are engaging with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under their new ownership. As is the normal course of business with a significant change in a media platform, we have temporarily suspended our paid advertising. Our interactions with customer service on Twitter will continue,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Under Mary Barra, the Detroit company was among the first automakers to announce billions of dollars in spending to better compete with Tesla regarding electric vehicles.

A General Motors sign is seen during an event on January 25, 2022 in Lansing, Michigan. – General Motors will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000, and significantly increase manufacturing capacity for battery cells and electric trucks.

Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images

Other car manufacturers, including Ford engine, Stellantide and Alphabet-owned by Waymo, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether it intended to suspend advertising or stop using the social media platform following Musk’s $44 billion buyout from Twitter. Electric truck manufacturer Nicholas said he has no plans to change anything regarding the platform.

The future direction of Twitter has been central to the takeover story. Musk said he was a “free speech absolutist,” who would reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account, which was banned for his tweets during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol uprising. Musk said on Friday that he provides for a “content moderation board” and will not reinstate any accounts or make major content decisions until it is convened.

Musk also said in a statement to advertisers this week that he couldn’t let Twitter become a “free-for-all hellscape”.

Henrik Fisker, CEO of EV startup Fisker Inc., deleted its Twitter account earlier this year when Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s offer to buy the company and take it private. Fisker Inc. continues to use Twitter, which all major automotive brands use for customer engagement and marketing.

Musk has long boasted that Tesla doesn’t pay for traditional advertising, a cost that has added up for conventional automaker brands over the years.

Instead, Tesla rewards people who lead or are members of Tesla Owners Clubs as well as other social media influencers who promote the company’s products, stocks and Musk on social media. especially Twitter and YouTube as well as fan blogs.

They often get early access to Tesla products, like the company’s Full Self Driving Beta software, and receive passes to company events where attendance is limited.

In September 2020, Tesla weighed a shareholder proposal to launch strategic, paid advertising to educate the public about its vehicles and charging network. Tesla’s board advised against it, and shareholders voted with the board against beginning to pay for traditional ad campaigns.

In the company’s annual report for 2021, Tesla wrote: “Historically, we have been able to generate significant media coverage of our company and our products, and we believe we will continue to do so. Such media coverage and word of mouth are the norm. key drivers of our leads and helped us achieve sales without traditional advertising and at relatively low marketing costs.”

It reported marketing, promotion and advertising costs that were not material for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 in financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

– CNBC’s John Rosevear contributed to this report.

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