GM in talks with Facebook to return as a paid advertiser

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 18, 2013

Talks are ongoing between General Motors Co and Facebook Inc about the possible return of the U.S. automaker as a paid advertiser, according to Alan Batey, GM's interim marketing chief. GM announced eight months ago that it will stop running ads on Facebook. At the Detroit auto show, Batey confirmed that talks are ongoing with the officials of the social networking website.

However, he asserts that there’s nothing to announce yet. Batey told Reuters that GM halted the ads because it just didn’t recognize their value. A few days before the May 2012 IPO of Facebook, GM announced that it was dropping paid ads on the website since it had minimal impact on consumers. Previously, GM said that for its Facebook presence, it had to spent around $40 million. Of this amount, just $10 million was paid to Facebook for advertising.

About $30 million goes to content creation, advertising, and the media agencies. Last summer, sources said that the two companies were talking about GM's comeback and Facebook said that it will offer data to GM to demonstrate how effective the paid ads are.

Back then, Facebook didn’t offer any concessions. Batey said that he won’t give details about the talks or indicate when GM may return to Facebook, where it continues to have pages for which it pays no fees to market its car and trucks. Batey said that he wouldn’t want to make any predictions.

But he admitted that “there were some things.” GM also said last May that it won’t have ads during the 2013 Super Bowl because the spots were overpriced. Batey said that the decision is still in place. Batey also revealed that there’s nothing to be said yet on whether GM will hire a permanent chief marketing officer. The position was vacated last August by chief Joel Ewanick, who was fired for not properly disclosing the full cost of a $559 million sponsorship agreement with English soccer club Manchester United.

Topics: gm, facebook, advertising

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