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In the Axios newsletter shared on Monday, November 20, 2023, it mentioned that Ubisoft has suspended advertising on X. According to reports, the Assassin’s Creed publisher has now joined companies like Disney, Comcast, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., and Apple in pausing ads on X.

It was said that the reason why most companies are pausing ads on the platform was due to concerns of antisemitic content swirling unchecked. Elon Musk has since denied that claim with a tweet on November 19.

“This past week, there were hundreds of bogus media stories claiming that I am antisemitic,” Musk tweeted. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all.”

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However, the reason why Ubisoft paused their ad on X has not been confirmed. Several media houses have reached out to Ubisoft for comment but have got none yet. Ubisoft was running a campaign for Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR which was released last week.

Last week, US media watchdog group Media Matters claimed advertisements from some of the companies that have now paused adverts were placed close to antisemitic and white nationalist posts.

“As X owner Elon Musk continues his descent into white nationalist and antisemitic conspiracy theories, his social media platform has been placing ads for major brands like Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), IBM, Oracle, and Xfinity (Comcast) next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party,” said a section of the post by Eric Hananoki.

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The post by Hananoki also contained screenshots of instances where ads from Apple, Xfinity, IBM, and so on were placed just above or below posts that seemed antisemitic. Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X has denied the claims. She posted a statement on November 21 denying the claims.

“If you know me, you know I’m committed to truth and fairness,” she wrote on X. “Here’s the truth. Not a single authentic user on X saw IBM’s, Comcast’s, or Oracle’s ads next to the content in Media Matters’ article. Only 2 users saw Apple’s ad next to the content, at least one of which was Media Matters. Data wins over manipulations or allegations. Don’t be manipulated. Stand with X.”

X has filed a lawsuit against Media Matters

Linda Yaccarino, CEO, X/Twitter speaks onstage during Vox Media’s 2023 Code Conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel on September 27, 2023, in Dana Point, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media)

Following the publication, X has dragged Media Matters to court. In a lawsuit filed at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division, X claimed the “self-proclaimed media watchdog” lied about the social media platform.

“Looking to Portray X’s social networking platform as being dominated by “white nationalist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” Media Matters knowingly and maliciously manufactured side-by-side images depicting advertisers’ posts on X Corp.’s social media platform beside Neo-Nazi and white-nationalist fringe content and then portrayed these manufactured images as if they were what typical X users experience on the platform,” read part of the lawsuit.

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According to Axios, marketing executives and brand chiefs have asked Yaccarino to step aside in light of the developing controversy.

“The issue is no longer about content adjacencies or content moderation,” said Lou Paskalis, the founder and CEO of marketing consultancy AJL Advisory and former head of global media at Bank of America. “It’s simply that the owner is not someone marketers can do business with.”

Before becoming the CEO of X, Yaccarino spent a decade at NBCUniversal’s advertising business. During her time there, she built the reputation of being one of the savviest advertising leaders in the industry and had a large network of brand chiefs rallying around her.

Paskalis said he messaged Yaccarino on Sunday afternoon telling her to leave X “before her reputation is damaged”.

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