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Elon Musk Begs Advertisers to Return as Twitter's Revenue Plunges

X-formerly-Twitter is in deep trouble — and owner Elon Musk is on his knees, yet again, imploring advertisers to return.

While the New York Times reported last week that executives at the beleaguered platform had assured employees that 65 percent of advertisers had returned, documents obtained by Bloomberg show that revenue has overall cratered since owner Elon Musk took over in late 2022.

Now, Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino are back in damage control mode, trying to scrounge up some much-needed funds at this year's Cannes Lions festival in southern France. The mercurial billionaire reportedly met with executives from the likes of the NFL, L'Oreal, Qualcomm, and Target, according to new reporting by the NYT.

But whether these measures will help Musk's hate speech-ridden echo chamber from bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter remains to be seen.


After all, who could forget that Musk quite literally told advertisers to go fuck themselves in November — fighting words that likely didn't sit well with the execs he's now pleading to return to X.

Responding to questions over running his mouth during his DealBook Summit tantrum last year, Musk sheepishly suggested that he didn't mean "advertisers as a whole."

"Advertisers have a right to appear next to content that they find compatible with their brands," he told ad giant WPP CEO Mark Read during an interview on Wednesday. "What is not cool is insisting that there can be no content that they disagree with on the platform."

"I do shoot myself in the foot from time to time, but at least you know it is genuine, not from the PR department," he admitted.

As Bloomberg's latest report shows, Musk's leadership has been disastrous for the platform. Revenue tanked by almost 40 percent in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. The company lost a whopping $456 million in the first quarter of 2023 alone.

While it's unclear where the company stands in 2024, the documents paint a troubling picture of the company's financials, with Musk repeatedly making headlines for using the platform to further conspiracy theories, go on racist rants, and spread disinformation.

In other words, it's not exactly a place where execs are dying to stuff their advertising dollars.

Case in point, executives told Ad Age that they had no interest in listening to Musk and that he had been "antagonistic to causes and social issues that they care about."

Meanwhile, Musk used the opportunity this week to assure advertisers that AI — what else? — will once again save the day by making ads more relevant to customers.

"If you’re trying to reach senior decision makers, if you want to reach the most influential people in the world," Musk told Read, "the X platform is by far the best."

Yet millions of users, particularly in the US, continue to flee the platform as bots, scams, and spam proliferate, largely unchecked. Musk has also welcomed hate speech with open arms on Twitter, further alienating the platform's once sizable user base.

More on Twitter: Elon Musk Demands Money Back From Employees He Laid Off