GM Pulls Twitter Advertising Temporarily

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

When I posted Friday's QOTD, I was wondering if perhaps I was overthinking things. I wondered how Tesla boss Elon Musk owning Twitter -- a social-media platform used by Tesla's competitors -- would affect the automotive industry and the automotive press.

Apparently, I am not the only one with concerns.


Later Friday, CNBC and other outlets reported General Motors has suspended Twitter advertising temporarily in the wake of Musk's purchase of the platform.


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


GM has invested a lot of money to compete with Tesla -- and, of course, the gang of EV startups and the rest of the legacy automakers -- when it comes to EVs.


Now the company can, for the time being, avoid the awkwardness of advertising on a platform owned by a competitor's boss.


CNBC asked Ford about its plans, and the Blue Oval said it hadn't been paying for ads on Twitter even before Musk took over. Ford also said this to CNBC: “We will continue to evaluate the direction of the platform under the new ownership.”


Funny enough, CNBC showed Ford a promoted tweet that came from CEO Jim Farley -- I think I've seen that same tweet on my own feed -- and Ford said it wasn't sure when it, or any agency it works with, had last paid to advertise on Twitter.


Like GM, Ford said it will continue to interact with its customers on the platform.


Other automakers contacted by the outlet either refused to comment, or like EV startup Nikola, said they had no plans to change their current approach to Twitter.


Part of the uproar about Musk's takeover of Twitter has centered around his past rhetoric about "free-speech absolutism". Observers have suggested an unmoderated or lightly moderated Twitter could become overrun with trolls, bullies, and those who use bigoted speech to harass, and advertisers would not want to promote their companies alongside such speech.


Furthermore, if Twitter discourse degenerates too much, users could flee the platform, leaving it less lucrative for advertisers.


That, of course, is just speculation at this point, and Musk has promised that Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” under his watch.


He has also talked about having an internal council for major content-moderation decisions, something Twitter apparently had even before Musk took over.


Each company will obviously have to make its own decision deciding whether to have an advertising presence on Twitter or not. GM, for one, has decided to be cautious and wait and see what happens.

[Image: GM]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Jwee Jwee on Nov 02, 2022

    Every free market and every free speech has rules and regulation. Without them, there is no freedom. The Bile, the constitution, are full of rules and regulation. The metric is honesty, the product wealth and wisdom.

  • John John on Nov 05, 2022

    Twitter may be worth getting now.

  • Hermaphroditolog Good hybrid cars use ICE implosion mode.Mercedes-EQXX uses implosion turbines (turboexpanders) for regeneration from heat losses.
  • Kosmo I, for one, and maybe only one, would buy a 5.0 L, stickshift variant of the sedan/hatchback that is Ford's "Not A Mustang EV" tomorrow.I'd buy the sportwagon version yesterday.
  • Akear I am counting the days when Barra retires. She has been one long nightmare for GM. People don't realize the Malibu outsells all GM EVs combined.
  • Redapple2 you say; most car reviewers would place it behind the segment stalwarts from Honda and Toyota,........................... ME: Always so. Every single day since the Accord / Camry introduction.
  • Akear GM sells only 3000 Hummer EVs annually. It is probably the worst selling vehicle in GM history.
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