General Motors continues to monitor Twitter and evaluate its decision to suspend advertising on the social media platform following Elon Musk's takeov
General Motors continues to monitor Twitter and evaluate its decision to suspend advertising on the social media platform following Elon Musk’s takeover of the company, CEO Mary Barra told CNBC Tuesday.
Barra said that the automaker’s decision to suspend advertising in October was in part an effort to protect its brands but was also influenced by the fact that Musk’s electric vehicle company, Tesla, is a competitor to GM.
“Anytime there’s a major change in a company, we would look to make sure we understand what the new philosophies are going to be. Our teams are having conversations,” Barra said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Remember it’s also a competitor. So, we want to make sure our advertising strategies are kept confidential.”
GM, as first reported by CNBC, was among the first major advertisers to pause advertising.
Under Barra, GM has announced billions of dollars in spending to better compete against Tesla in the battery electric vehicle segment. Automakers such as GM have worked with Twitter and other social media platforms on advertising campaigns as well as new vehicle unveilings and launches.
GM’s Twitter accounts have largely sat dormant since Musk acquired the company: Accounts for GM and Barra have not tweeted or retweeted anything since Oct. 27, when Musk took control.
Twitter did not immediately respond to an email for comment.
GM said at the time that it would suspend advertising on Twitter to “understand the direction of the platform” as a “normal course of business.” Other automakers as well as companies have since followed, as Musk has let several previously suspended accounts back onto the platform.
Musk has made several changes to the platform since taking the helm and has said he is a “free speech absolutist.”
According to Twitter internal communications obtained by CNBC, agencies and brands that paused advertising on Twitter after Musk took over are now waiting for updates on changes to company leadership, specifically teams working on brand safety.
They also want answers to questions about how Twitter Blue verification will work in the future and how Twitter plans to prevent brand impersonation. Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter rolled out and promptly rolled back a Twitter Blue Verified subscription service, after users who purchased the badges were able to impersonate celebrities, politicians and brands.
Advertisers’ also want reassurances that Twitter will be safe from hackers, with so many employees resigning or laid off, and they’re asking for more communication from new leadership about changes to the product and company.
– CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Johnathan Vanian contributed to this report.