Did Facebook Win Back General Motors?
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) appear to have buried recent differences and are discussing bringing the automaker back as an advertiser on the social network. In May, just before Facebook went public, GM announced publicly that there was no proof that paid advertisements on the social network made a significant enough impact on consumers and pulled its ad spending. GM’s decision was widely used as an example of the troubles the social network faced in growing its advertising revenue.
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However, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg reached out to GM chief executive Daniel Akerson about a potential new ad deal and the companies have been in discussions about the possibility, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook’s global sales head Carolyn Everson also met GM global marketing chief Joel Ewanick, with the former promising to provide data showing how ads can turn into car purchases, though the social network won’t provide any special treatment for the automaker. GM, meanwhile, is reported to be working with digital ad firms to create new content for Facebook pages and apps. The automaker has not recommitted to spending money on Facebook yet.
GM said it spent about $10 million on Facebook ads last year, compared to its total 2011 U.S. ad spending of $1.8 billion. Facebook’s 2011 revenue, most of it from advertising, was about $3.7 billion. Top Facebook executives have been on the offensive as criticism regarding advertising on site grows, and are working hard to change that perception.