Volkswagen is encouraging its brands to pause paid advertisements on Twitter, just as the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, takes the reins of the social media platform. Volkswagen is one of the biggest automakers in the world — if not the biggest — so the loss is a notable hit to the platform, even if it’s only temporary.
Now that VW is pausing ads on Twitter, it’s recommending that the carmakers or brands it oversees (more to the point, those it owns) also pause their paid advertising, according to Reuters. The Volkswagen Group (AG) comprises many of the world’s most recognizable auto brands, including Audi, Bentley, Cupra, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat, Škoda, the newly revived Scout, and, of course, Volkswagen (sans Group). The multinational auto giant also owns Ducati, just to round out the count with two-wheeled machines.
On Friday, the VW mothership released a statement about pausing paid ads on Twitter, and went on to say, “We are closely monitoring the situation and will decide about next steps depending on its evolvement,” per Reuters.
This marks the latest automaker to pull-out of Twitter just as Elon Musk takes over. Earlier this week, General Motors announced it would stop advertising on the social media site. The American automaker’s exit from Twitter seemed to be more of a long-term exit than Volkswagen’s, although GM said it would still be around to provide support to customers on the platform.
The German auto giant is not committing to a permanent Twitter exodus for its brands, but it’s going to cautiously approach any return to the platform. It’s not clear where the directive is coming from, or whether it’s an unanimous decision on the part of VW’s leadership or from its newly-appointed CEO, Oliver Blume.
The company’s former CEO Herbert Diess may have tried a different tack as far as it concerned Twitter and Elon Musk, since Diess appeared to support Musk. The two expressed mutual support at times, and acknowledged the efforts of their respective companies where EVs were concerned. But, it looks like Blume is not eager to court the controversy around the Tesla CEO’s Twitter buyout. Not to mention the conflict of interest that indirectly giving a competitor money represents, such as VW paying Musk money and thereby lining Tesla’s coffers.
Neither Musk nor Twitter seem to be having a good time right now; Musk plans to enforce new policies (fees!) that many find distasteful, while Twitter is facing imminent cuts to its workforce. These cuts come at the behest of Musk, who plans to streamline the platform. Fewer workers and less overhead is the way to more profits, right? Yes, except in cases like these, where less of everything includes less income from companies seeking to advertise on your platform.