How Many Lost Advertisers Does It Take To Screw Twitter?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Joe Mandese’s MediaPost column, when I came  across this item about Twitter, consumer brands, and public opinion.

While its new owner Elon Musk has blamed pressure groups — as well as advertisers themselves — for discontinuing advertising on Twitter, half of American consumers believe it was the right thing to do since he acquired the company and began making it an even more toxic place for brand marketers and consumers alike.

According to a survey of 500 U.S. adults fielded by Pollfish  on Tuesday, 49% agree with the decisions of big brands to halt their Twitter ad spending, while 27% said they do not agree with their decision and 24% said they’re not sure.

Seeing as how Twitter has normally gotten about 90% of its revenue from ad sales, that’s gotta leave a mark, eh Doc?

– Tweet Dreams

Dear TD,

Yeah, that survey just adds insult to (financial) injury.

Start with Musk’s whining about activist groups pressuring advertisers to ghost Twitter. As CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Jonathan Vanian have reported, Musk claims that a coalition of activist groups “broke an agreement with him by encouraging companies to halt advertising on Twitter.”

Here’s the dispute in a nutshell, compliments of Patrick W. Watson.

As the CNBC piece noted, those activist groups actively disagree.

Derrick Johnson, CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in response to Musk’s claims on Tuesday that the civil rights groups “would never make such a deal” and that “Democracy always comes first.”

“The decisions being made at Twitter are dangerous, and it is our duty, as it has been since our founding, to speak out against threats to our democracy,” Johnson said. “Hate speech and violent conspiracies can have no safe harbor.”

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Free Press, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center all say ditto.

So there’s that.

And then there’s this, according to NPR’s Halisia Hubbard.

Twitter has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers since Elon Musk took over, report says

Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers appear to no longer be advertising on the website. A report from Media Matters for America states that these 50 advertisers have spent almost $2 billion on Twitter ads since 2020 and more than $750 million just in 2022.

Seven additional advertisers have slowed their advertising to almost nothing, according to the report, which was published on Tuesday. These companies have paid Twitter more than $255 million since 2020.

And perhaps the unkindest cut of all for our very own Muskie Muskrat is this Joe Mandese post at Red, White, and Blog.

Vox Populi, Vox Dei: Musk Won’t Own Twitter Much Longer

If the voice of the people really is the voice of God — as Elon Musk keeps tweeting — then he won’t own Twitter much longer.

According to a survey conducted by Pollfish for MediaPost on Tuesday, most American adults do not believe Musk will even own Twitter more than a year.

While a third believe he will own the social media platform a year or more, most consumers believe it will only be “a few months” or “until something else catches his fancy.”

So, will Musk and Twitter crash and burn?

Maybe even prob-a-bool.

Wait, What? There’s Already a Ron DeSantis 2024 Presidential Ad?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading a Politico Nightly post by David Siders and Charlie Mathesian, when I came across this item, which noted that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement had failed utterly to freeze the 2024 primary field.

The Ron DeSantis bandwagon is already rolling.

Next week, in an advertising campaign shared first with Nightly, a pro-DeSantis super PAC will begin airing TV ads in Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

The ads, which began airing digitally today, follow a week in which the Florida governor’s star has risen — and Trump, following a bruising midterm, has lost his luster with many Republicans.

Seriously, Doc – no rest for the weary?

– Ron DeSist, Please

Dear DeSist,

Now that Donald Trump has thrown his MAGA cap into the ring (and check out Michael Wolff’s New York Times op-ed for a sense of how ultra-shambolic the former Cheeto-in-Chief’s third run for the White House is shaping up to be), it’s off to the races, yeah?

The ad from pro-DeSantis super PAC Ron to the Rescue is its version of American Carnage: “Lockdowns. Rampant inflation. Rising crime. Soaring gas prices. A nation on the brink.”

Here’s how the voiceover ends: “To defeat Biden and restore our country, America needs leadership. We need Ron DeSantis.”

As the Sunday comics feature used to ask, What’s missing from this picture? If you guessed Donald Trump, you’re right! But Trump does come up on the super PAC’s website.

Under the current management of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, our nation has drastically suffered. Inflation is shrinking the Middle-class, supply-chain issues are eroding small businesses, and soft-on-crime policies are destroying community safety.

If we don’t turn this ship around soon, we won’t have a nation to return to. We need someone with the courage to stand up to the woke radical left and return us to an America First agenda. We need someone with the bravery of President Lincoln, the charm of President Reagan, and the determination of President Trump.

Too bad what DeSantis actually brings is the glass jaw of Gerry Cooney, the tiny arms of a T-Rex, and a cast-off suit from his old man. But why get technical about it.

Besides, it’s early days, and what matters most to the chattering classes right now is the horse race. Politico Nightly helpfully provided some numbers.

Recent polling underscores DeSantis’ popularity with Republicans outside Florida. Earlier this week, the conservative Club for Growth released a polling memoshowing DeSantis running ahead of Trump in multiple states — the polling data less significant than what releasing it said about the heavyweight group’s leanings heading into 2024.

In a survey of likely Republican primary voters in GOP-oriented Texas, DeSantis was beating Trump by 11 percentage points. Even polling that shows Trump ahead of DeSantis has been moving in the Florida governor’s direction: In a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll this week, Trump was beating DeSantis by 14 percentage points among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. But the margin was 22 percentage points before the midterms.

The Doc’s diagnosis?  Sorry, folks – not seeing a DeSist anytime soon in DeFuture.

How in the World Did $16.7 Billion Get Spent on the 2022 Midterms?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Politico Weekly Score’s Pre-Election Day Special Edition by Madison Fernandez,  when I came across this knee-buckling statistic.

— $16.7 billion: The new projected total spending on state and federal elections blows away the 2018 record. Federal candidates and political committees are expected to spend $8.9 billion, while state candidates, party committees and ballot measure committees are on track to hit more than $7.8 billion, per OpenSecrets.

What the hell, Doc – have they completely lost their minds?

– All Those Dollars and No Sense

Dear All Those,

Well yes they have.

Here’s how the Politico piece broke down the spending.

— $272 million: That’s how much party committees have booked on TV, cable, satellite, radio and digital ads from the beginning of the year through Election Day, per AdImpact. The Democrats spent more over the last eleven months in both chambers. DCCC tops that list with over $96 million, followed by NRCC with over $91 million. DSCC poured in over $45 million, and NRSC spent over $39 million.

— $693 million: That spending script is flipped when it comes to the parties’ flagship congressional super PACs. Republicans dominated the space, contributing to over half of that total. Senate Leadership Fund and Congressional Leadership Fund booked over $206 million and $189 million, respectively. Senate Majority PAC booked over $155 million, and House Majority PAC dedicated over $142 million.

Donald Trump’s MAGA, Inc. grudgingly coughed up $16 million across a handful of swing states, but that’s chump change compared to 1) the total amount he’s fleeced the rubes for, and 2) the amounts spent by other outside groups.

“We’ve also seen huge ad spending from outside groups like Club for Growth Action (over $61 million since the beginning of the year), Citizens for Sanity (over $59 million) and Mitch McConnell-affiliated One Nation (over $58 million),” Politico’s Fernandez wrote.

It’s all been pretty smashmouth, but especially vile has been the advertising campaign from the self-styled Citizens for Sanity, a dark-money PAC spearheaded by MAGA gunsel Stephen (Babysnatcher) Miller. As Matt Stieb wrote in New York’s Intelligencer, “[the] ads have been flagged on YouTube as “inappropriate or offensive to some audiences” and widely decried as blatantly racist.”

This one serves as a representative sample.

PolitiFact’s overall grades for the group tell you all you need to know about it.

All those dollars and no sense of decency, eh?