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Elon Musk’s SpaceX buys huge ad campaign on Twitter for Starlink as advertiser exodus accelerates

Elon Musk’s SpaceX just ordered a large advertising package on Twitter, typically worth $250,000, for its Starlink satellite-internet service – as the social network sees advertisers flee and in some cases move their money to rivals like Google and Meta. 

The Starlink campaign will promote the service on the platform that Musk just purchased for $44 billion in Australia and Spain, according to internal documents viewed by CNBC.

Twitter has faced an advertiser exodus since Musk’s deal went through. The Starlink ad purchase comes just as the company enters a crucial time of the year where it would typically be making deals with advertisers that generate 30 percent of its annual revenue, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Many of the discussions leading to such deals have reportedly not taken placed or were paused because of the constant uncertainty surrounding Twitter – with features being changed or removed without warning – and the fact that the social network’s ad sales department is in disarray.  

Elon Musk’s SpaceX just ordered a large advertising package on Twitter, typically worth $250,000, for its Starlink satellite-internet service – as the social network sees advertisers flee and in some cases move their money to rivals like Google and Meta 

Starlink uses a constellation of satellites to provide high-speed, low-latency internet in locations that are poorly served or unable to access fiber-optic or cable infrastructure

Starlink uses a constellation of satellites to provide high-speed, low-latency internet in locations that are poorly served or unable to access fiber-optic or cable infrastructure

The Starlink campaign is known as a Twitter ‘takeover’ and it usually puts a company’s brand at the top of the network’s main timeline for a full day, with most users in those two countries seeing messaging for the first three times they open the app while the campaign is active, according to current and former Twitter employees who spoke with CNBC.

Starlink uses a constellation of satellites to provide high-speed, low-latency internet in locations that are poorly served or unable to access standard fiber-optic or cable infrastructure. Those wishing to utilize it must have terminals, built by SpaceX, and subscribe to the service. 

Advertising giants Interpublic Group and Havas Media both recommended that clients pause their ad spending on Twitter. Omnicon Group, whose agencies buy ads on behalf of major companies, also told clients on Friday to pause Twitter spending until further notice, per an internal document seen by The Verge. 

Since Musk has taken over, a range of brands including General Motors, Audi, Mondelez International, Volkswagen, Chipotle, General Mills, Pfizer, United Airlines and others have paused their ad spending on the network for now. 

‘We have pulled back on our paid and owned content on Twitter while we gain a better understanding on the direction of the platform under its new leadership,’ Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer, told the Journal. 

One large consumer packaged-goods firm that’s planning to stay off Twitter through the first quarter of 2023 is shifting about $10 million to TikTok, streaming platforms and Google, a person close to that company told the business publication. 

If the Tesla CEO is able to somehow reassure advertisers that the platform is safe for their brands, it will be challenging for him to bring that revenue back, according to advertising executives who spoke to the Journal, because many brands have shifted their ad spend to TikTok, Google and Instagram. 

‘Brands on pause are not parking those dollars, they are spending them,’ Ben Jankowski, a former head of global media at Mastercard Inc.. explained to the Journal. Companies have ‘brands that they have to support. No one is sitting holding advertising money,’ he added. 

The exodus comes at a perilous time for Musk, since his acquisition of Twitter was financed by about $13 billion in debt – and he needs the platform’s revenue to increase. In 2021, advertising accounted for 89% of Twitter’s $5 billion in revenue.  

With everything seemingly in upheaval – from content moderation to its $8-a-month blue tick verification program – brands are worried and confused about the direction the platform will take and whether it will be overrun by misinformation, bots and hate speech, among other concerns. 

Although Musk has tried to reassure advertises in recent meetings and video calls, it remains to be seen if that will be enough. 

DailyMail.com reached out to Twitter for comment. However, Axios reported last week that Musk got rid of Twitter’s communications department with the exception of one person. 

One large consumer packaged-goods firm that's planning to stay off Twitter through the first quarter of 2023 is shifting about $10 million to TikTok, streaming platforms and Google, a person close to that company told the business publication

One large consumer packaged-goods firm that’s planning to stay off Twitter through the first quarter of 2023 is shifting about $10 million to TikTok, streaming platforms and Google, a person close to that company told the business publication

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