General Motors back in talks with Facebook about advertising
The news comes almost two months after GM dramatically announced it was to cease advertising on the site in a embarrassing blow to Facebook in the run up to its IPO.
It sparked a flurry of stories where marketers voiced their doubts about the value of advertising on Facebook. The initial row was reported to be over Facebook rebuffing GM’s request for bigger and higher-impact ads.
The WSJ quotes “people close to both companies” saying the two are now talking at the highest levels. Talks will almost certainly involve GM’s global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, who at the time stressed the auto firm’s commitment to investing in content on Facebook.
GM said it had been spending $10m on Facebook advertising compared to $30m on content.
“People think we were out to get Facebook. That’s not true. We have a great relationship and put a lot of money into it. And we have a pretty big budget and developed a lot of content.”
The WSJ says the the two sides are sounding each other out about reaching a deal, which would generate a welcome headline for Facebook in the wake of its bumpy IPO. As while GM only spent $10m the impact of its withdrawal rattled others.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is said to have been leading talks. She is said to have spoken with GM CEO Daniel Akerson indicating how high the issue has gone.
Ewanick and Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s global sales head, met for the first time since the blowup at a June event in Cannes, France, a person familiar with the meeting said. Ms. Everson said Facebook is willing to provide GM with better data on how their ads can turn into dollars, as it has agreed to do with other advertisers, this person said. Facebook won’t provide any special treatment for GM, however.
Facebook is trying to prove its value to large brand advertisers such as GM, who complained there wasn’t enough concrete data that proved the value of Facebook ads,
So far, GM isn’t committed to a return, saying it will engage only if Facebook can better prove its effectiveness, people close to the auto maker said. GM has also been meeting with digital advertising shops, to solicit ideas about ways to create content for Facebook pages and applications, the WSJ reports.