Tesla’s auto sector rivals General Motors and Ford halt Twitter ads after Musk takes over

Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has sparked concerns about conflict of interest when it comes to advertising for car companies, since he owns one himself.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, October 29, 2022, 08:13 PM IST
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Earlier this year General Motors zoomed ahead of electric vehicle market leader Tesla by building an affordable EV called Bolt priced at $26,000 while Teslas start at $50,000. It beat Elon Musk’s vision, which was to sell expensive EVs and spend the revenues on developing cheaper alternatives. Now Musk has sold a chunk of his stocks in Tesla to buy Twitter, driving advertisements by its rival General Motors away from the social media platform.

Conflict of interest a cause for concern

Before being the owner of a social network powered by ad revenues, the world’s richest man is also a corporate honcho with business spanning different sectors. This is why other firms are cautious about the changes Musk might bring when it comes to content and advertisement on Twitter. A major concern is also the conflict of interest for automobile ads, which arises from Musk’s ownership of EV market leader Tesla.

Other auto giants may unfollow?

Apart from GM, another major US carmaker Ford has also pressed the brakes on its advertising activities via Twitter. Both companies entered the electric vehicle market much after Tesla, but had tried to develop their own versions way before Musk drove EVs into the mainstream. Henry Ford had tried to make an EV in 1913, in collaboration with Thomas Edison, while GV had rolled out its own e-car in 1996 in response to a rule in California requiring zero emission vehicles.

Not convinced by Musk’s statement

The block on Twitter ads from General Motors and Ford comes despite Musk reassuring that all speculation about advertising after he took over is wrong. The billionaire has said in a statement that he has bought Twitter to help humanity and not to make money, adding that it could be a digital town square. But Musk has contradicted himself previously, by first citing absolute free speech as a reason to bid for Twitter, before using bots or fake accounts as an excuse to step back from the deal.

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