GM announced earlier this month that it was halting paid ads on social network Facebook, a still emerging advertising platform.
A few days later, the car company said it was also passing on televised commercials for next year’s Super Bowl, a bastion of high-spectacle, high-machismo automotive advertising.
This morning Ad Age reported the back story of GM’s pullout from Facebook, underscoring the tensions between big advertisers and Facebook’s willingness to appease them. GM wanted to do something much splashier with Facebook; Facebook declined. GM took its money elsewhere.
Sources told AdAge the reason GM decided to pull its advertising is because Facebook wouldn’t let the company run “bigger, higher-impact ad units” than what it currently offers — i.e., small display ads and Sponsored Stories. GM wanted to run a full-page takeover. Facebook said no.
GM, the third-largest U.S. advertiser, will still maintain Facebook pages, which cost nothing to create and for which it pays no fees, to market its vehicles.
GM’s move to cut its $10 million a year in Facebook advertising last week prompted jeers from Ford but also a lot of quietly nodding heads around the industry. Many brands have invested in Facebook advertising — as contrasted with “free content” on the site — only around product launches so far.
For example, Mike Accavitti, American Honda’s CMO, told Automotive Newsthat the brand’s social-media “adjustments” could include Facebook advertising if it doesn’t provide sufficient returns.
Facebook Inc shares slid below $29 to a new low on Tuesday as nervous investors fled the company’s shares, concerned about the social network’s long-term business prospects and an initial offering price that proved too rich.