After spearheading ad sales at NBCUniversal, Yaccarino developed a sterling reputation for relationship-building with brands and agencies. Musk’s decision to appoint Yaccarino as CEO of X back in May was seen as a savvy move. However, MediaRadar’s analysis indicates that Yaccarino’s hire has done little to move the needle so far, with an advertiser exodus continuing to pick up speed in June.

MediaRadar examined a sample of Twitter advertiser data from Jan. 1 through June 2023. The analysis factored in in-feed image, carousel and video ads from a panel consisting of over 2 million U.S. users.

Since Yaccarino signed on as chief executive, the social media platform has continued to undergo changes at the directive of Musk that have baffled or frustrated consumers and brands alike. Chief among those shifts is the rebrand to X, part of Musk’s plan to eventually develop an “everything app” akin to China’s WeChat that can handle not just social posting, but also banking, digital payments and other forms of media. 

Third-party analyses also suggest that Twitter’s name change to X has hurt X’s brand valuation while making the platform even less appealing to advertisers that want to appear on a site with easy name recognition. 

Per Musk’s own admission in July, X’s ad revenue has been down about 50%. In an interview this week with CNBC — her first since taking on the CEO mantle — Yaccarino said that X is “close to breakeven” and took credit for helping bring blue-chip companies like Coke back on board. Yaccarino also claimed that X is a healthier and safer platform than it was last year.

Research has indicated that hate speech on X has surged under Musk, who has frequently described himself as a free speech absolutist and the site as a “digital town square.” According to Yaccarino, X plans to bring back an advisory council consisting of large advertisers that Musk previously disbanded. 

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