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Twitter is reportedly scaling back on its ban on political ads as they will be “relaxing” their policies for cause-based ads within the United States starting yesterday.

According to a tweet from the Twitter Safety account, the company plans to align its advertising policy with that of traditional media such as TV and magazines. This would pave the way for the reappearance of political ads nearly three years after the platform banned them altogether.

Top Advertisers Leaving Twitter Include Mondelez and Audi

This change in Twitter’s ads policies comes after roughly half of the social media platform’s 100 largest advertisers halted their campaigns right after the firm was acquired by the head of Tesla (TSLA), Elon Musk.

A report from the Wall Street Journal mentioned big brands such as Audi, Pfizer, General Mills, and Mondelez among the most prominent advertisers that have shunned Twitter after being spooked by the departure of several top executives including some in customer-facing positions and others who held jobs that prevented the platform from being targeted and exploited by fake news spreaders.

Meanwhile, news from the New York Times said that IPG – a global advertising company that caters to big clients as well – recommended its customers to refrain from publishing ads on Twitter.

Research company MediaRadar further confirmed the rumors as one of its surveys indicated that the average number of advertisers within the platform dropped from 3,350 between January and April to 3,100 as of September.

This decision from advertisers was prompted by Musk’s controversial and erratic decisions. Musk himself acknowledged that the company was facing headwinds on the revenue front and pushed forward a revamped version of Twitter’s flagship subscription package – Twitter Blue – to bring money in.

Political Ads Could Bring Much-Needed Money to Twitter

To entice users to subscribe to the platform, Musk allowed Blue users to verify their accounts and instantly receive the popular blue ribbon that was previously reserved for notable characters within the Twitter community.

Initially, this led to chaos and to the impersonation of both celebrity and institutional accounts. Later on, Musk introduced a verification process that is intended to confirm that the Twitter Blue account is not stealing anyone’s identity.

Another interesting move that went against the current was the reinstatement of Donald Trump’s Twitter account nearly two years after it was suspended due to consistent violations of the platform’s policies that are against the “glorification of violence”, referring to the ex-President’s controversial remarks regarding the incidents that occurred in the United States Capitol in those days.

According to a report from AdImpact, roughly $6.2 billion were spent on political ads during last year’s US midterm elections. Meanwhile, the agency also estimates that around $9.7 billion will be spent during Election Day on November 2023.

At a point when advertising revenues are suffering big, it makes sense that Twitter is once again opening up the possibility of publishing political and cause-based ads within its platform.

Another motivation for Musk is the large amount of debt that he had to take to finance the purchase of the social media company. Some estimates point to more than $6 billion in debt that the firm is now bearing. The burden of this debt service is weighing on Twitter’s finances and Musk needs to find a way to generate money for the business to stay afloat.

Some other measures he has undertaken to achieve this include laying off thousands of employees – both full-time and independent contractors. By the end of 2021, Twitter had 7,500 full-time employees. Most reports point to a cut of as much as 50% of the firm’s personnel.

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