Twitter says advertisers stopped spending money in reaction to protests

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Twitter’s advertising revenue was hit hard by the pandemic, and the company says that the “US civil unrest” in May and June also made matters worse. Advertising revenue declined 15 percent year-over-year in the final three weeks of June, Twitter said, as brands slowed or paused spending entirely. “Demand gradually improved once brands returned after the protests subsided,” Twitter said this morning in its Q2 2020 earnings report.

Brands have been known to block ads from appearing near terms like “Black Lives Matter,” “George Floyd,” and “protest.” At the same time, several huge advertisers including Starbucks, Unilever, and Coca-Cola paused advertising across most social media platforms in June. The advertising pause was initially…

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