Walmart is the latest company to publicly join the growing flock of major advertisers to pull spending from X, Elon Musk’s beleaguered social media company, amid concerns about hate speech — as well as reaching a sizeable audience on the platform.
Walmart stated that they have chosen not to advertise on X, as they have determined that other platforms are more effective in reaching their customers.
Although Walmart announced their withdrawal publicly on Friday, Joe Benarroch, the head of operations at X, stated that the company has not utilized advertising on the platform since October. Instead, they have been actively engaging with their community of over one million people on X.
On Friday afternoon, Walmart did not promptly reply to a request for additional commentary.
The statement was made two days after Musk’s profanity-laced outburst during an on-stage interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Musk expressed frustration with companies stopping their spending on X, previously known as Twitter, in reaction to anti-Semitic and other hateful content. Musk accused the withdrawing advertisers of participating in “blackmail” and, in a vulgar manner, urged them to leave.
Musk stated, “Do not advertise.”
Other companies, including Walmart, the Walt Disney Co., IBM, NBCUniversal, and its parent company Comcast, have chosen to discontinue their expenditures on X. Several of these companies pulled out at the beginning of this month after a report from the liberal advocacy group Media Matters revealed that their advertisements were appearing alongside content that praised Nazis. X has filed a lawsuit against the group, accusing them of purposely creating the report to “force advertisers away from the platform and damage X Corp.”
Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X, was previously an executive at NBCUniversal and was brought on by Musk to repair relationships with advertisers who had left after he assumed control. They were worried that his relaxation of content regulations would lead to the spread of hateful and harmful speech, which could damage their brands. However, it seems that X’s interactions with advertisers have not seen any improvement.
In a statement, Benarroch shared that Walmart has a thriving community of over one million individuals on X. Additionally, with half a billion people on X, the platform receives 15 billion impressions specifically related to holiday shopping each year, and over 50% of X users primarily or exclusively shop online.