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Disney, Comcast increase US ad spending on Instagram after dropping Musk's X - report

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Disney, Comcast increase US ad spending on Instagram after dropping Musk's X - report
Reuters
Jaspreet Singh
December 13, 2023

By Jaspreet Singh

(Reuters) - Big U.S. companies including Walt Disney and Comcast increased advertising spending on Instagram after pausing commercials on X last month, according to Sensor Tower, as marketers flee the Elon Musk-owned social media platform over antisemitic content.

Disney and Comcast lifted their U.S. spending on the app owned by Meta by 40% and about 6% respectively in the two weeks from Nov. 20, Sensor Tower data showed. Paramount, meanwhile, tripled its spending on Snapchat.

The figures underscore the challenge facing Musk, who in late November unleashed a profanity-laced tirade against advertisers who had dropped X, formerly known as Twitter.

The billionaire has seen several advertisers flee the platform after he endorsed an antisemitic post that falsely claimed members of the Jewish community were stoking hatred against white people. He has apologized for sharing the post.

"Brands are intelligent about these choices, and any brand safety concerns will be met with a re-allocation of budgets away from troubled platforms," said Felipe Thomaz, associate professor of marketing at University of Oxford.

Disney, Comcast, Paramount and X did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sensor Tower's data showed 51 of the top 100 U.S. advertisers on X from October last year, when Musk bought the platform, have ceased ad spending on it as of November 2023.

The platform has also seen a 16% decline in monthly active users since the buyout, though the user engagement has remained stable, the market intelligence firm said.

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday X was on track to suffer a big slump in ad revenue this year to roughly $2.5 billion.

"While platforms like X are likely to maintain a core niche of users, the overall trends show consumers are swapping out text-based social networking apps for photo and video-first platforms," mobile analytics firm data.ai said in a report earlier this month.

"Along with a series of mismanagement and public image fumbles for X, there is a general shift of where news content is being absorbed."

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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