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Despite growing security concerns about TikTok, Apple remains among top ad spenders

TikTok on a smartphone

Despite growing concerns that TikTok could be banned in the US, and increasing pressure by US regulators, companies — including Apple — are doubling down and increasing their reach and ad spends on the platform.

TikTok saw an 11% growth in advertising in March, despite US officials seeking to ban the social media app over national security concerns.

As Financial Times points out, Apple is among the top spenders. Other companies on that list are Pepsi, DoorDash, and Amazon.

Even top ad agencies aren't advising companies to pull back yet and instead suggest that companies spend while they still can.

"There's unlikely to be an executive order resulting in an immediate ban that would impact advertisers," said Joshua Lowcock, chief media officer of UM Worldwide, told Financial Times. "Even with bipartisan support the legislative process will be protracted — giving marketers ample time to plan alternative strategies."

Others have told companies to read their contracts with TikTok and consider the cancellation terms before committing.

TikTok has seen substantial growth over the last year and is anticipated to reach $14.15 billion in ad revenue in 2023 versus $9.89 billion in 2022.

In early March, US Senators drafted a plan to provide the Commerce Department the ability to ban TikTok with a carefully worded bill that avoids targeting TikTok directly.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew provided a 5,000-word testimony to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee. In it, he argued that not only is TikTok popular in the US, but it is responsible for bringing worldwide "exposure to American musicians, artists, chefs, and many more."

The video platform is also facing increased scrutiny in other countries. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has advised staff to delete the app from their work phones, citing concerns regarding data privacy and security.