GM to pull ads from Facebook: report

May 15, 2012
The General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. General Motors plans to stop advertising on Facebook because it determined paid ads had little impact on consumers, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

General Motors late Monday confirmed that it is pulling its advertising from Facebook because it determined paid ads had little impact on consumers.

GM had been spending about $10 million on paid advertising and $30 million on unpaid marketing on Facebook.

"We are reassessing our Facebook advertising, but we remain committed to very aggressive social media strategies and will continue to push content on Facebook through our product and brand Facebook pages," GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey told AFP.

The news comes at a bad time for Facebook, which is expected to launch an initial public stock offering Friday valuing the social networking site at around $100 billion.

GM's pullback comes as other marketers are questioning the value of paid ads on Facebook despite the vast amounts of time huge numbers of consumers spend on the site.

The US auto giant is the third largest advertiser in the United States with expenditures of $1.8 billion in 2011, according to Kantar Media.

It will continue to expand its use of unpaid marketing such as the creation and management of content on the Facebook pages of its brands and cars, according to Morrissey.

While Facebook and Google both have broad reach, ads posted at the search giant's websites are 10 times more likely to be clicked than those at the social network, according to online marketing specialty company WordStream.

WordStream gave Google top grades for performance of its display ad network while it found Facebook in need of improvement.

"So far, Facebook's advertising platform hasn't kept pace with the explosive growth of its social network, and it remains to be seen if CEO Mark Zuckerberg even wants to focus on advertising as a source of revenue," said WordStream chief technical officer Larry Kim.

"In his 2,500-plus word letter to (prospective) shareholders this month, he mentioned advertising just once."

Google offers twice as many advertising formats as Facebook, including ads in videos and mobile games, according to WordStream.

"The comparison suggests that Google currently offers advertisers more value in terms of both options and results for advertisers, and that Facebook has a lot of catching up to do," WordStream said.

Graphic charting the rising number of Facebook users. The Internet giant is expected to debut on the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock market on May 18.

Facebook has yet to support advertising on smartphones or tablet computers that have become popular social networking tools, and has more limited ad targeting options than Google, the analysis concluded.

"As good as Facebook has been at evolving to serve consumers, that's how bad it's been at serving marketers," Forrester analysts Nate Elliott and Melissa Parrish said in a blog post.

"Somehow Facebook still hasn't stumbled upon a model that's proven consistently successful for marketers, or that brings in the massive revenues to match the site's massive user base."

Facebook shortcomings at making money appeared not to be dousing passion for owning the company's stock.

Facebook on Tuesday raised the price range of shares to $34 to $38 in a move that could value it at more than $100 billion when it starts trading on the Nasdaq exchange.

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User comments : 4

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Lurker2358
4 / 5 (4) May 15, 2012
I almost never buy anything based on advertisements on any media.

I guess you could count movies and video games, but that's only because where else would I learn about a new movie ahead of time, unless I happened to be on the theatre or production company's website for some reason.

Over all, commercial ads are a waste of money.
Milou
5 / 5 (2) May 15, 2012
"The US auto giant is the third largest advertiser in the United States with expenditures of $1.8 billion in 2011, according to Kantar Media."

GM's product must be pretty lousy to spend so much in convincing consumers to buy (GM is good at marketing not product making). As the other comments I also do not buy anything from adv. besides, I have no Facebook account.
Lex Talonis
2.3 / 5 (3) May 16, 2012
Oh you mean the reason why I have add blocker and Element Hider and Javascript Blocker and all that, so that I don't get swamped with fucking millions of bullshit adds, for products that I either don't want, don't need or don't want to spend the money on.

And maybe with that sleazebag Suckaterd and his money grubbing bullshit, masquerading as totally fake and inept privacy controls that they sell on anyway - that may explain why I don't use Facebook or it's "like me" adds being plastered over everything.

Time for some "HATE FACEBOOK" click on buttons....
Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (2) May 16, 2012
Oh you mean the reason why I have add blocker and Element Hider and Javascript Blocker and all that, so that I don't get swamped with fucking millions of bullshit adds, for products that I either don't want, don't need or don't want to spend the money on.

And maybe with that sleazebag Suckaterd and his money grubbing bullshit, masquerading as totally fake and inept privacy controls that don't work and they sell your personal information onto others anyway - that may explain why I don't use Facebook or it's "like me" adds being plastered over everything.

Time for some "I HATE FACEBOOK" click on buttons....