Disney increases Instagram ad spend after halting advertising on X

Disney has increased their ad spending on Meta’s Instagram by as much as 40% after halting advertising on X over reports of antisemitism, reports Reuters.

A study by Sensor Tower also highlights other advertisers moving their spending away from X, which is owned by Elon Musk. Comcast has increased Instagram spending by 6%, whereas Paramount has tripled its Snapchat spending as a result.

The backlash began after Musk was accused of antisemitism following his response to a Tweet criticizing Western Jewish communities. He has vehemently denied accusations of antisemitism, going so far as to sue Media Matters, a left-leaning watchdog.

After advertisers started to pull their spending, Musk lost his cool in a New York Times DealBook Summit interview. The CEO of Tesla said, “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go f*** yourself.”

Linda Yaccarino, the social media platform’s CEO is also feeling the pressure. In a post on X on Wednesday she said: “And here’s my perspective when it comes to advertising: X is standing at a unique and amazing intersection of Free Speech and Main Street — and the X community is powerful and is here to welcome you. To our partners who believe in our meaningful work — Thank You.”

X has made itself unpopular with advertisers

Speaking to Reuters, Felipe Thomaz, associate professor of marketing at the University of Oxford said “Brands are intelligent about these choices, and any brand safety concerns will be met with a re-allocation of budgets away from troubled platforms.”

The entrepreneurial owner of X has since apologised for any perceived antisemitism, however, these new reports suggest that advertisers and not likely to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, said at the same event that an ongoing association between Disney and X “was not a positive one for us.”

Lou Paskalis, founder of marketing consultancy AJL Advisory, said that Musk’s outburst marked a “closing chapter” for many brands and their advertising on X. “They’re not going to forget that,” he stated.

Photo by Julian Christ on Unsplash

Ali Rees

Ali Rees is a freelance journalist and mature student based in Scotland.

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