Advertising industry leaders from companies like McDonald’s and Colgate-Palmolive have expressed apprehension over Elon Musk and Twitter. Commenting on Musk’s upcoming speech to an influential group of advertisers, one woke McDonald’s executive said, “For many communities, his willingness to leverage success and personal financial resources to further an agenda under the guise of freedom of speech is perpetuating racism resulting [in] direct threats to their communities and a potential for brand safety compromise we should all be concerned about.”
Semafor reports that on April 18, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and the new owner of Twitter, is scheduled to present at the Possible Conference, which is hosted by MMA Global, a prestigious digital marketing association. However, top advertising executives from some of America’s biggest companies, including McDonald’s and Colgate-Palmolive, have expressed worries and skepticism about his upcoming appearance.
Musk’s primary objective at the conference is to convince advertisers to use Twitter once again. This is because many advertisers have stopped using the platform due to worries about its security and suitability for ads. Musk will be interviewed by NBCU’s chief of advertising Linda Yaccarino during the conference. Musk will most likely encounter skepticism from the audience, according to a private email thread among the organization’s board members that Semafor was able to obtain. The executives are concerned that Twitter has become toxic and harmful to their brands as a result of Musk’s remarks on race and Twitter’s response to allegedly racist speech.
Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s chief marketing and customer experience officer, expressed his concern in the email thread, stating: “For many communities, his willingness to leverage success and personal financial resources to further an agenda under the guise of freedom of speech is perpetuating racism resulting [in] direct threats to their communities and a potential for brand safety compromise we should all be concerned about.” Hassan added, “Further, all of us who lead our brand’s investments across platforms were required to navigate a situation post-acquisition that objectively can only be characterized as ranging from chaos to moments of irresponsibility.”
Diana Haussling, Colgate-Palmolive’s vice president and general manager of consumer experience and growth, also shared her apprehensions in the email exchange, writing, “I am both excited for the success of the conference while also mindful of the harmful and often racist rhetoric of Elon Musk.” Haussling continued, “While I am a huge supporter of free speech and enterprise, we cannot ignore the impact of such hate speech. I especially can’t ignore it as a black woman.”
Musk took more flak from woke corporations last month when he defended Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who claimed that the media was biased against Whites and Asians. The advertising executives’ worries about Musk’s attendance at the conference have increased as a result of this incident.
Musk’s upcoming talk has some people nervous, but MMA CEO Greg Stuart insisted that the reaction has been positive in general. “The overwhelming response to Elon has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “We need to hear what he’s doing.” Stuart also commented on the nature of board members’ discussions, explaining that debates over topics are normal, and that most members are “certainly not shy, shrinking violets. They’re people who offer opinions.”
It is still unclear as the conference draws near whether the issues brought up by leading advertising executives will affect Musk’s interview or Twitter’s future interactions with significant advertisers. The industry will closely watch the outcome of this situation and any potential repercussions for social media advertising.
Read more at Semafor here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan
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