Several major corporations, including Apple, Disney, IBM, NBCUniversal, and Sony, have recently halted their advertising campaigns on X, formerly known as Twitter. This move was prompted by Elon Musk’s endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on the platform, coinciding with reports from Media Matters for America showing major brands’ ads appearing alongside pro-Nazi and pro-Hitler content. The combination of these issues led to the exodus of big companies from advertising on the platform.
In response, several right-wing media entities and influencers have rallied to support Elon Musk, pledging to advertise on X to offset the revenue loss caused by the departing businesses. CEO Seth Dillon of the conservative satire site Babylon Bee announced a $250,000 ad spend on X to back “free speech,” echoing Musk’s interest in acquiring the platform after Babylon Bee faced suspension on the then-Twitter.
YouTuber Tim Pool swiftly followed suit, committing to the same amount of ad spending over the coming months. Subsequently, other right-wing figures and companies, like Benny Johnson, The Quartering, Donut Operator, Gavin McInnes, and Elijah Schaffer, pledged varying sums ranging from $2,500 to $50,000.
The controversial influencer Andrew Tate, known for past legal issues, offered the largest pledge, promising Elon Musk $1 million monthly without even running ads for his own projects, though questions lingered regarding the feasibility of his commitment. Tate’s assets reportedly total around $10 million, raising doubts about his ability to sustain the pledged amount over a year.
Despite these pledges totaling approximately $1,627,500, the figure falls significantly short of the advertising revenue lost from departing big brands. For instance, Apple alone spends over $100 million annually on X ads, reflecting the substantial financial gap caused by their withdrawal.
Musk expressed gratitude for the support from these right-wing figures, yet it’s evident that their combined efforts cannot sufficiently compensate for the substantial revenue loss resulting from major corporations redirecting their advertising budgets away from the platform due to recent controversies involving its owner.