Now that TikTok has until September 20th to sell its U.S. operations or face the consequences of President Trump’s executive order signed late last Thursday, media buyers are stalling client marketing investment on the platform.

While media buyers say that they are still optimistic that a sale will likely happen in time to keep the service operational in the U.S. and an option an option for dollars, they say that advertisers will likely test out TikTok competitors like Triller and now Instagram’s Reels. “No one is rushing to commit Q4 budgets” to TikTok, said one media buyer. 

That said, advertisers are not spending anywhere near what they spend on Facebook on TikTok so moving ad dollars away from the platform is much simpler. TikTok is also not yet critical for driving business outcomes for advertisers in the way that Facebook is so moving ad dollars off the platform is not nearly as difficult. 

And while advertisers are not leaving the platform en masse, the executive order has renewed brand safety concerns for advertisers. Those concerns now go beyond adjacency issues common with newer platforms, as advertisers have little control over the kinds of content their ads appear next to on TikTok. Advertisers are now also worried about the reputational risk associated with the platform as consumers worry about data privacy, according to media buyers. 

Jed Meyer said:

We’re in a waiting game right now to figure out what happens. From a brand’s point of view they would like TikTok to be in the hands of a blue chip company like Microsoft or someone else. That gives advertisers more confidence that the data privacy issues will be addressed and they will invest in the platform.” 


To read the article in full on Digiday, click here.

First featured 12/08/2020

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