Twitter may be in big trouble when it comes to generating advertising revenue: GroupM, part of WPP, the world’s biggest ad company — Twitter’s biggest spender — is reportedly telling its clients that buying ads on the platform is “high-risk,” according to Platformer and Digiday. This makes it the Dritte Advertising juggernaut telling large corporations they may want to move their money elsewhere. After IPG and Omnicom Media Group recommended a pause on the platform, both IPG as well as Omnicom Media Group suggested that it be done.
GroupM works with companies like Google, L’Oréal, Bayer, Nestle, Unilever, Coke, and Mars. If you’ve ever seen that graphic about how a few brands make pretty much everything you buy at the grocery store, you’ll notice a lot of Venn diagram overlap with GroupM’s list of clients.
GroupM is reportedly concerned about several specific things following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter; in a document, it cites the large numbers of Twitter executives leaving or being fired (especially those in charge of safety, security, and compliance), the wave of high-profile impersonations by “verified” users, and also raises concerns about Twitter’s abilities to follow the Federal Trade Commission’s orders. If Twitter wants to lose its high-risk label, there’s several things GroupM reportedly wants to see, according to a document viewed by Digiday and a Slack message from Twitter’s agency partnerships lead seen by Platformer. This list includes:
GroupM didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment. Twitter does not have a communications department that can assist with such requests. The internal message was seen by Platformer According to Twitter, Twitter is “working through” GroupM’s requirements with leadership.
While Musk has said that he wants to wean Twitter off its reliance on advertising for revenue, he’s not there yet. For one, a lot of people can’t even buy the company’s premium Blue subscription service right now, because the company temporarily suspended that program. Musk has said that Twitter is burning through around $4 million a day, and he’s also saddled it with hefty interest payments on the debt he used to purchase it in the first place. Twitter needs money if it wants to keep going — but it seems that advertisers are increasingly hesitant to provide it.