The Twitter logo is seen on an iPhone mobile device in this illustration photo on 12 October, 2022.
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Ad guru Maurice Levy said Friday that the majority of advertisers are likely to return to Elon Musk‘s overhauled Twitter — on the proviso that a few fundamental conditions are met.
Describing the platform as being at a crossroads of “complete freedom” — which could result either in chaos or better oversight — Levy told CNBC that most advertisers are currently in “wait and see” mode to determine Musk’s ultimate position.
“They are in a position, for the vast majority of them, of wait and see,” said Levy, who is chairman of the supervisory board of Publicis Group, the world’s third-largest advertising and communications company.
“It is an area of complete freedom, which can lead to chaos. Or will it be something which will be better controlled and the moderation will work correctly?,” he told CNBC’s Charlotte Reed at the 2022 Conference de Paris.
Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in late October following a drawn out legal battle with the company, and has since sought to radically overhaul the platform, including its content moderation policies.
That has spooked many advertisers, with half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers now estimated to have left the platform since Musk took over.
Still, Levy said he expects that the vast majority will eventually return if the company can assure them that it will moderate content and safeguard democratic freedoms and plurality of opinion.
“They are a little bit concerned about what will happen to the moderation, what will happen about the content,” said Levy.
“If there is a demonstration that it’s working well, I think that most advertisers who have decided to oppose will come back,” he continued.
“If the situation is not what we are expecting — which is democratic position, plurality of opinion, and the possibility of having something which is not leading to extremism, and we don’t see some expression of racism etc., — I believe that if we are back to something more controlled, advertisers will get back to Twitter,” Levy added.
Levy’s comments come just hours after Twitter on Thursday evening suddenly suspended several high-profile journalists who cover the platform and Musk.