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X may lose up to $75 million in revenue as more advertisers pull out

An "X" sign rests atop the company headquarters in downtown San Francisco, on July 28.Noah Berger/Associated Press

X, the social media company formerly known as Twitter, could lose as much as $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year as dozens of major brands pause their marketing campaigns after its owner, Elon Musk, endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory this month.

Internal documents viewed by The New York Times this week show that the company is in a more difficult position than previously known and that concerns about Musk and the platform have spread far beyond companies including IBM, Apple and The Walt Disney Co., which paused their advertising campaigns on X last week. The documents list more than 200 ad units of companies from the likes of Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, many of which have halted or are considering pausing their ads on the social network.


The documents come from X’s sales team and are meant to track the impact of all advertising lapses this month, including those by companies that have paused and others that may be at risk of doing so. They list how much ad revenue X employees fear the company could lose through the end of the year if advertisers do not return.

On Friday, X said in a statement that $11 million in revenue was at risk and that the exact figure fluctuated as some advertisers returned to the platform and others increased spending. The company said the numbers viewed by the Times were either outdated or represented an internal exercise to evaluate total risk.

The advertising freezes come during the final three months of the year, which is traditionally the social media company’s strongest quarter as brands run holiday promotions for events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the last three months of 2021 — the last year the company reported fourth-quarter earnings before Musk took over — the company recorded $1.57 billion in revenue, of which nearly 90% came from advertising.


Organizations that have paused their ads on X range from political campaigns to fast food chains to tech giants, according to the documents. Airbnb, for example, halted more than $1 million of advertising, while Uber cut back on ads worth more than $800,000, halting campaigns in U.S. and international markets. Both tech companies declined to comment.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.