Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino is preparing to unveil new safety features in the coming weeks to address advertiser’s concerns about hate speech, On The Money has learned – but her boss Elon Musk hasn’t been making things easy.
The new features – Yaccarino’s key focus since her surprise move to Twitter from NBCUniversal last month, according to sources – will give advertisers advanced controls to decide what kinds of content their ads appear next to, sources said.
The so-called “adjacency controls”, which beef up Twitter’s Brand Safety and Suitability Capabilities, also will enable advertisers to sift through an inventory of content and select what they find most suitable, according to the sources. These people add that none of the controls being introduced existed before Yaccarino joined, and that Twitter is hoping they’ll be more effective than humans.
Nevertheless, some advertisers remain rattled as Musk – who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October – has failed to curb his notoriously unpredictable tweeting habits of late.
One top marketer pointed to a recent tweet in which Elon Musk suggested he and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg have a “d–k measuring contest.”
“CMO’s are sick of the hate speech and are frankly getting sick of Elon,” the source said. “Tweets like Elon’s post about his d–k do not inspire confidence that there is anyone other than a frat-boy at the helm.”
Word of the new safety tools also comes just days after Elon Musk acknowledged the company’s advertising revenue has plummeted 50%.
“It’s like he is just taunting advertisers,” the source added.
Insiders say Yaccarino is presenting the new tools to advertising holding companies like WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic, and Dentsu. Ad agencies are seen as gatekeepers in the industry since they advise corporations on marketing plans and where to allocate their ad dollars.
Executives at the companies have been speaking with Twitter’s management about what kinds of changes they want to see on the platform in order to bring their ad dollars back – Yaccarino has sought to address those concerns with the latest tools, a source ads.
After Musk bought Twitter, he axed 80% of employees – many of whom were focused on monitoring hate speech. Last month, head of trust and safety Ella Irwin left the company.
Now, sources said Twitter is hoping it can employ new digital tools to do the work of content moderation.
While Yaccarino was brought on to rebuild relationships with advertisers, she has also explored other revenue streams like adding commerce to videos and bringing more creators to the platform.
One source with knowledge told On The Money Musk has encouraged and supported Yaccarino’s efforts, some in the ad industry believe he is part of the problem.
“Twitter has two things going for it – Linda and ads that get a pretty decent ROI,” a source added.
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