Electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc TSLA doesn’t spend money on traditional advertising like its peers and competitors. CEO Elon Musk shared insight into if Tesla would ever consider advertising and what he thinks of paywalls on Twitter Inc TWTR, a company he is acquiring, in his latest interview with the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley Club.
Elon Musk on Advertising: Musk said traditional media won’t run negative pieces about traditional automotive companies.
The CEO said this is because you can’t run a negative piece next to an advertisement for the same company, referencing General Motors Company GM.
“You don’t run hit pieces on your major advertisers,” Musk said. “They also know who’s paying their salary, they’re not idiots.”
For this reason, Musk said there could be an opportunity for Tesla to run advertisements.
“There’s an argument for maybe we should advertise,” Musk said, adding that the above factors led to Tesla being a “free game” for negative articles and posts from media companies.
“The press was a non-stop hate stream,” he said.
Musk said from 2017 to 2019, there were so many negative pieces on Tesla by the media. “They were thumbing through the thesaurus for bad words to use,” he noted.
Musk said ultimately the bad press didn’t lead to the company selling fewer cars, instead, sales went up.
“All press is good press, there’s some truth to that,” he said.
Elon Musk on Paywalls: Along with the discussion of the press and truth in journalism, Musk and his interviewers discussed their disgust for paywalls.
Musk agreed it’s particularly bad when you click on a shared link on Twitter it turns out to be behind a paywall.
A fix to this could be having a subscription model on Twitter that would allow reading all publications.
“There’s no losers here. Media companies will be winners,” Musk said of the plan.
Musk said otherwise make it to where you don’t have to subscribe to a whole publication or for a whole month and do it on a per article basis where someone would pay 10 cents per article or one Dogecoin DOGE/USD for an article.
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