Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced it joining several other “woke” corporations in “pausing” ads on Twitter to protest new owner Elon Musk’s plans to restore free speech on his platform.
In recent years, Twitter has become dominated by revenue from “woke” advertisers who have used their influence to dictate policy behind the scenes.
However, they now fear that the game is up after Musk bought the company.
Musk has long stated that his plans for Twitter involve ending censorship and moving the company away from relying on advertiser money.
On Thursday, Pfizer responded by announcing it is “pausing” its ads with the social media company.
However, Albert Bourla‘s Big Pharma giant isn’t the only corporation upset that Americans will be allowed to speak freely, regardless of their politics, on Twitter.
“Food company General Mills Inc., Oreo maker Mondelez International Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Volkswagen AG’s Audi are among a growing list of brands that have temporarily paused their Twitter advertising in the wake of the takeover of the company by Elon Musk, according to people familiar with the matter,” WSJ reported.
The Wall Street Journal’s report ties the corporations’ moves directly to Musk’s suspension of government and corporate censorship operations at Twitter.
“Some advertisers are concerned that Mr. Musk could scale back content moderation, which they worry would lead to an increase in objectionable content on the platform,” the report continued.
“Others are temporarily halting their ads because of the uncertainty at the company as top executives exit and Mr. Musk considers a raft of changes, some of the people said.”
Kelsey Roemhildt, a spokeswoman for General Mills, confirmed to WSJ that the company has paused Twitter ads: “As always, we will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend.”
General Motors Co., a rival for Musk’s electric car company Tesla, also paused its spending on the social media platform last week.
These four corporate giants are unlikely to be the last to signal their displeasure over Twitter opting out of rigging the national conversation ahead of midterm elections.
“Several ad buyers say they expect the number of brands pausing Twitter ads to rise,” WSJ added.
“They say that the platform isn’t considered a must-buy for many advertisers, with far larger budgets going to tech giants such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc., and that pausing makes sense during the bumpy transition under Mr. Musk.”
As Slay News reported earlier, Musk’s plan to cull Twitter’s employees begins on Friday.
He is expected to cut an estimated 50% to 75% of the company’s workforce.
Musk has already axed the top executives at the company, including those behind the censorship efforts and decisions to ban prominent conservatives from the platform.
“As one of his first moves, he fired several top Twitter executives, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters,” the Post reported.
“One of those confirmed the deal had closed.”
“CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, were all fired, according to the people.
“Sean Edgett, the company’s general counsel, was also pushed out, one of the people said,” the report added.
The corporations are also outraged that Musk is terminating their advertising contacts inside the company.
“Many executives on Madison Avenue are uneasy with the rash of sudden executive departures from Twitter’s advertising sales and marketing units,” WSJ reported.
“Among those who have exited are Chief Customer Officer Sarah Personette, Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, and Jean-Philippe Maheu, Twitter’s vice president of global client solutions.
“Those executives helped reassure advertisers that their ad dollars were being spent wisely and appropriately on Twitter.”
The corporate exodus comes amidst a resurgence of criticism for Big Pharma.
Many argue that it suggests a quid pro quo that the corporations had with media companies not to allow criticism of their “vaccines” on the platform.