Elon Musk Pitches Advertisers on a Return to X, Months After Telling Some to ‘F’ Themselves
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Elon Musk Pitches Advertisers on a Return to X, Months After Telling Some to ‘F’ Themselves

The billionaire spoke onstage at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity about advertising, artificial intelligence and more

By MEGAN GRAHAM
Thu, Jun 20, 2024 9:01amGrey Clock 2 min

Seven months after declaring that advertisers pulling their ads from his social-media platform X could “go f— yourself,”   Elon Musk took a more congenial tone onstage at the advertising industry’s most important annual festival.

Musk joined Mark Read , chief executive of ad giant WPP, in a session Wednesday at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France, a five-day event that draws thousands of the industry’s chief marketing officers, tech leaders, creative workers and others from around the world.

“Back in November, you had a message to us. You told us to go f— ourselves,” Read said. “Why did you say that? And what did you mean by that?”

Musk said that he had not intended the message for advertisers as a whole.

“It was with respect to freedom of speech,” he said. “Advertisers have a right to appear next to content that they find compatible with their brands. That’s totally fine…What is not cool is insisting that there can be no content that they disagree with on the platform.”

X in November was grappling with the departure of several large advertisers in the wake of a post by the billionaire describing a post that espoused an antisemitic conspiracy theory as “the actual truth.”

Musk later that month called the advertisers’ response “blackmail” and said the advertising boycott was “going to kill the company.” He also said he had tried to clarify after his post that he hadn’t meant anything antisemitic

In Cannes on Wednesday, Musk also said that the company has worked to overhaul its abilities to match its users with ads using AI.

For advertisers who haven’t been on the platform but might be mulling a return, Musk said he believed it was “worth trying out.”

“We are very focused on having ads be shown to people who would find the ad interesting,” he said. “That is something we have done and are making a lot of progress on.”

He added that the platform still sees activity from the likes of world leaders.

“If you’re trying to reach senior decision makers, if you want to reach the most influential people in the world…the X platform is by far the best,” he said.

Musk and Read also spoke about the future of AI as it pertains to creativity.

Musk said his company Neuralink aspires to enhance human intelligence so that people can keep up with AI. “It will certainly amplify creativity,” he said.



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After Pandemic Slowdown, Global Wealth Is Growing Once Again, Led by the U.S.
By GEOFF NUDELMAN
Sun, Jul 14, 2024 2 min

The latest edition of an annual UBS wealth report notes that while “the global economy is in the midst of a dramatic structural upheaval,” wealth is growing once again after a downturn through the pandemic.

UBS analyzed income and wealth data from 56 markets, representing “92% of the world’s wealth,” in its Global Wealth Report 2024, released Wednesday. The report’s overarching theme found that global wealth grew by 4.2% in 2023, offsetting a loss of 3% in 2022. Even in the face of continued inflation, adjusted global wealth grew by 8.4%.

However, overall global wealth growth is down, from an annual average of 7% between 2000 and 2010 to just over 4.5% between 2010 and 2023, the report said. This equates to a reduction in global wealth of almost one-third.

The remaining growth seems to be continuing on pace in the world’s most developed and already prosperous nations. In the U.S., average wealth per adult grew by nearly 2.5% and the country accounts for 38%, roughly 22 million, of all millionaires worldwide.

Mainland China came in second with just over 6 million millionaires, followed by 3 million  in the U.K.

The report also took a look at the growing issue of wealth transfer. Over the next 25 years, US$83.5 trillion of global wealth will be transferred to spouses and the next generation. UBS estimates 10% of that will be transferred by women and US$9 trillion will shift between spouses.

Wealth in the Asia-Pacific region grew the most—nearly 177%—since the report began tracking data 15 years ago. The Americas come in second, at nearly 146% growth. Surprisingly, Turkey has enjoyed the most wealth growth per adult of any individual nation in the last 15 years—more than 1,700% in local currency.

The world’s wealthiest class continues to be a small, tightly concentrated group. According to the report, only 12 people hold between US$50 billion and US$100 billion and just 14 people hold US$2 trillion of the world’s wealth. The U.S. and Canada are home to individuals holding 44% of this wealth, while another 25% is held by people in Western Europe.

UBS data suggests that global wealth will continue to grow most in emerging markets, with some countries experiencing millionaire growth of up to 50% over the next five years.

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