Monday, November 20, 2023

X CEO On Hot Seat As Advertisers Flee The Platform

X CEO Linda Yaccarino, the longtime NBC advertising executive tapped to bring back revenue and credibility to the company from big advertisers, is facing her own credibility crisis as advertisers halt spending over Elon Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic abuse on the social media platform.

Forbes has confirmed that Yaccarino has been contacted by a groundswell of leading advertising executives who questioned why she is risking her reputation to shield Musk’s behavior—and suggested that she could make a statement about racism and antisemitism by stepping down. She has so far resisted their entreaties, sources said.

Linda Yaccarino
Last week, Musk endorsed an explicitly antisemitic conspiracy theory, and a report from watchdog Media Matters found that ads from major companies including IBM and Amazon had been placed next to content promoting Nazis and white nationalism, prompting advertisers including Apple, Disney and IBM to pull ads from the platform. Even the White House has condemned Musk’s antisemitic and racist statement, in which Musk agreed with an X user who espoused a conspiracy theory that “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”

On November 16, Yaccarino responded to the firestorm in a post on X: “X’s point of view has always been very clear that discrimination by everyone should STOP across the board — I think that's something we can and should all agree on. When it comes to this platform — X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There's no place for it anywhere in the world — it's ugly and wrong. Full stop.” 

Yaccarino did not immediately respond to a comment request made through X’s press team.

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