Linda Yaccarino’s job at NBCUniversal was to put advertising near safe “premium” content.
But the head of that company’s advertising-sales unit is now moving to Twitter, taking the chief executive officer position, where the word “premium” might be a foreign thing for users and clients.
In fact, it is a more different task -- especially with the ongoing predominance of offensive and disturbing content on Twitter -- including animal cruelty, hate speech, and everything else in between.
If she is looking to attach any higher-valued media value to big brand marketers -- clients she has been close to for many years at NBCUniversal -- how exactly will that work?
Elon Musk was savvy enough to realize Yaccarino was a dominant force in transforming NBCUniversal when it comes to extending NBC’s linear TV platforms with new digital offerings -- including that of Peacock, as well as deal with demand-side platform The Trade Desk, among other deals.
In short, Yaccarino will have massive challenges to deal with when it comes to social media’s unfiltered content that is so difficult to wrestle to the ground when finding a way to affix a “premium” tag.
Ever since Musk took Twitter private for $44 billion, advertisers have left in droves -- due to what many believe is a no-holds-barred focus on complete freedom of speech. Musk says many advertisers have returned, including the likes of Apple.
The good news for Yaccarino is that she has a low baseline to work from. Making any progress in building up Twitter’s client base will seem to be a victory.
But again, much of this may be out of her hands since she cannot control the content. Perhaps there is a way to cull and select “brand-safe” content.
But drop the “premium” thing for now.
All that may pass muster for brand advertisers -- for a select few. Maybe there is an up-charge for those brands buying in. Does that mean higher social-media CPMs to come?
One thing is for sure. Working at a private company, she will have more freedom to try, and fail, at stuff. The trouble is, brand advertisers are demanding more transparency among their media partners than ever before.
One can see that with Musk handing off the reins to Yaccarino, his plan is to significantly put resources behind advertising revenue -- not necessarily boosting subscriptions including "Twitter Blue," which can give users specific encrypted messaging protection, "un-tweeting" and other extras.
Still, "premium"? Perhaps we need a more straight-ahead, no-frills media business term to rally around.