The SEC goes after Elon Musk, and prosecutors probe media-buying | Advertising

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for “Ad Age” under “Skills” in the Alexa app. What people are talking about today: Elon Musk’s Twitter habit might be his undoing. After the Tesla CEO tweeted last month that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused him of fraud and making false statements that could hurt investors. As The New York Times writes, the suit filed in federal court in Manhattan also attempts to prevent Musk from serving as an executive or director at a publicly traded company. And he could be removed from Tesla. The Times writes:

“Such a punishment is one of the most serious remedies the S.E.C. can impose against a corporate executive. The case is likely to send shock waves across corporate America and could lead to a re-evaluation of how companies use Twitter to communicate with the investing public.”

Musk said the lawsuit was unjustified and said he has always “taken action in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors.” His comments were distributed the old-fashioned way not from his personal Twitter account, but via a statement from his company.

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