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Elon Musk is going to try courting advertisers. Again.

Peter Kafka   

Elon Musk is going to try courting advertisers. Again.
  • Elon Musk, who has a ... complicated relationship with advertisers, is going to appear at a big ad conference.
  • It's pretty standard for tech companies to court advertisers at the Cannes Lions event in France.

Last fall Elon Musk told advertisers to go fuck themselves.

Maybe he has a different message now: The man who bought Twitter, turned it into "X," and saw his advertising revenue plummet, is heading to the Cannes Lions ad summit in France next week.

WPP, one of the world's biggest ad companies, said Musk will appear at an event with WPP CEO Mark Read on June 18.

This one won't be a grilling. From the release: "The interview will cover the transformative power of technological innovation, how AI is reshaping creativity, business and society, and the future of X." No word on whether Musk will be there in person or will be beaming in, like he did most recently at a Paris tech conference.

Cannes is the ad industry's biggest event of the year, and it's quite standard for Big Tech companies to show up there and try to woo advertisers.

Musk's appearance is primarily newsworthy because he didn't go last year and has mostly avoided ad gatherings in general. (Linda Yaccarino, the former NBC sales boss who became Musk's CEO a year ago, is also scheduled to appear in Cannes this month.)

Related: Many advertisers have avoided Twitter/X since he bought the company in the fall of 2022, and Musk's relationships with ad buyers remain pretty … strained. Last fall, Musk famously told advertisers that had stopped working with his company to "go fuck yourself" and accused them of trying to "blackmail" him.

Musk routinely predicts a future for Twitter/X where the company won't be dependent on advertising dollars because he'll also be making lots of money from subscriptions and other revenue streams.

But those alternative dollars haven't shown up in meaningful amounts, and advertisers are still quite wary of Musk. So off to France he goes. (I'll also be there along with some of my Business Insider colleagues. Come say hi!)