Ben Bold
Aug 1, 2023

'Business as usual': Twitter’s UK sales chief writes letter to adland

Twitter will share finalised new logo and branding in due course.

X: 'a major milestone towards out vision for what the future of social media looks like'
X: 'a major milestone towards out vision for what the future of social media looks like'

Twitter's UK sales chief has written to agencies and advertisers reassuring them that the ad community will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the X rebrand and explaining how the platform will become the future of social media.

Christopher Bailes, Twitter's UK sales director, wrote to contacts, setting out that chief executive Linda Yaccarino and owner Elon Musk would be "working with our teams and every single one of our partners to bring X to the world".

The rebrand from Twitter to X, which was announced last weekend and has received a somewhat mixed reaction from adland, will have "no material impact on Twitter advertisers", Bailes wrote, adding: "It's business as usual".

"The advertising community – who for so long pushed us to dream bigger, to innovate faster, to command the space we occupied – should be excited by today's announcement, and stands to be one of the greatest benefactors."

The missive comes after many media buyers expressed scepticism when news broke in The New York Times that US ad sales dropped 59% between early April and May compared with the same period in 2022.

On the other hand, others in the industry are encouraged by the appointment of Yaccarino, a respected former NBCUniversal ad sales leader.

Bailes' communication explained how Twitter is "accelerating its future under a new brand, X", which he described as a "major milestone towards our vision for what the future of social media looks like".

Twitter will become a "future state of unlimited interactivity", across audio, video, messaging and payments/banking, "creating a global marketplace all powered by AI that can connect us in ways we're only just beginning to imagine".

Bailes asked respondents to consider how different the X experience is compared with eight months ago, highlighting four areas:

  • Long-form publishing is raising the breadth and depth of quality content for users, and powering the writing community
  • Our video offering has become far more immersive, with vertical video and long form
  • Creators – the lifeblood of social – can now make a living on X
  • Our customers have a new standard of brand adjacency protections, with more to come

He explained that the name change would be effective immediately, "though it will take some time for the visual identity to flow through in the app and web experience".

"We will keep you posted on every next step to help our users and customers migrate to X," he added.

Musk had previously said – pre acquisition – that he hates advertising. But during a Tesla live stream in May, he stated he was coming around to the concept.

He claimed it was ironic that Twitter, the platform he acquired in October for about $43bn, was "highly dependent on advertising" revenues, saying (with tongue partly in cheek) that "advertising is awesome and everyone should do it".

"So here I am, [having] never used advertising before and now I have a company that's highly dependent on advertising.

"I believe in taking suggestions," he continued. "So we'll try a little advertising and see how it goes."

Campaign UK

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