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Major Ozy Media advertisers suspend ad campaigns amid tumult
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Several major advertisers of embattled digital-media startup Ozy Media are putting their ad campaigns on hold in the wake of a New York Times article that raised questions about the company’s business practices.
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Ford Motor Co. , Airbnb Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Target Corp. are among the advertisers that have paused their campaigns, according to people familiar with the matter. Together, the paused ad campaigns—which include other companies — amount to about $5 million in revenue for Ozy, one of the people said.
"We are pausing our advertising while Ozy Media addresses their current business challenges," Ford said in a statement.
OZY MEDIA BOARD ANNOUNCES INVESTIGATION OF BUSINESS PRACTICES
The frozen ad campaigns are the latest wrinkle of the rapidly unfolding turmoil at the company. On Sunday the New York Times reported that Ozy Chief Operating Officer Samir Rao had impersonated an executive from Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube on a February fundraising call with Goldman Sachs. Ozy Chief Executive Carlos Watson in a statement Sunday said that Rao’s behavior on the call stemmed from mental-health issues, adding that Goldman Sachs wasn’t affected by the incident because it didn’t invest in Ozy.
The tumult at Ozy is also affecting its programming. Katty Kay, a high-profile Ozy recruit who was a correspondent and anchor for the BBC, said on Twitter Wednesday that she had resigned from Ozy this week.