Throughout Twitter’s rebrand to X, advertisers are beginning to become more confident in using the platform, CEO Linda Yaccarino recently told CNBC. To win back more advertisers, X is adding new brand safety controls to stop ads from appearing where advertisers don’t want them to appear. However, amid these developments, at least two brands have suspended advertising on X again, CNN reports—after a Media Matters report shared screenshots of their ads that appear next to posts from a verified pro-Nazi account.
According to CNN, the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences and NCTA-The Internet and Television Association “immediately halted their ad spending on X after CNN flagged their ads on the pro-Nazi account.” This account — which was verified in April and is now suspended — “shared content celebrating Hitler and the Nazi Party,” with some posts garnering “hundreds of thousands of views,” it reported. on CNN.
Before its suspension, other brands appeared in the feed of this account, including The Athletic, MLB, the Atlanta Falcons, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Amazon, and Office Depot, Media Matters reported.
On X, some accounts that violated community guidelines were suspended, while others that posted what it called “legitimate but terrible” content were marked as Unsuitable For Advertising. This pro-Nazi account should have been suspended but was not caught by X. By delaying action on the account for months, each unique visit to the profile generated different ads from different brand, so it is not clear how many brands there are. ads placed next to offensive account posts.
According to X, the ad impressions on this account were very low, however, registering less than 1 percent before the account was suspended. The Media Matters report suggests that even this low number of impressions is still too many, as X verified the account months ago and acknowledged that it posted antisemitic content.
“The suspension came only after the company verified the account; allowed it to repeatedly post antisemitic content; and monetized it by placing advertisements for major brands on the account,” the report said. in Media Matters. “X’s monetization of the account also occurred even though the company reportedly acknowledged that the antisemitic account contained ‘violent language.'”
X adds safety controls to the brand
In response to concerns about ad placements on the pro-Nazi feed, X emailed advertisers that the company is stepping up efforts to give advertisers more brand safety controls .
Recently, the company announced neighborhood controls to stop ads from appearing next to posts with certain keywords, as well as new ones sensitivity settings which allows brands to limit or maximize the reach of ads according to their brand identity.
“Your ads will only be displayed next to the content that’s relevant to you,” Yaccarino told CNBC.