Facebook, GM said to seek solution to rift over advertising

After a public falling out in May, General Motors and Facebook may be ready to patch things up.

business Updated: Jul 05, 2012 01:25 IST
Tanzina Vega
Tanzina Vega
Hindustan Times

After a public falling out in May, General Motors and Facebook may be ready to patch things up.

Senior executives from both companies - including Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer for Facebook, and Daniel Akerson, the chief executive at General Motors - have been in discussions to mend their relationship, according to a person with knowledge of the talks.

The person said on Tuesday that Carolyn Everson, the global head for sales at Facebook, and Joel Ewanick, the chief marketing officer for General Motors, met in Cannes, at the end of June.

The conversation, held during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, an annual advertising conference, was the first face-to-face meeting for the two companies since GM decided to end its paid advertising on Facebook, the person said.

That decision embarrassed Facebook just days before it went public.https://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/7/05_07_12-buss23c.jpg

A GM spokesman, Greg Martin, confirmed that the automaker had reopened discussions with Facebook about resuming its paid advertisements.

"The discussions are back on," Martin said, without providing additional details.

GM is reportedly still asking to receive more information from Facebook regarding visitors to its pages and its ads.

There is no expectation that a deal will be reached soon, said a GM executive familiar with the discussions.

The decision by GM to suspend paid advertising did not involve a large amount of revenue, but it became a public relations headache for Facebook, which has been trying to prove that advertising on the site is effective.

It created uncertainty among other advertisers who were trying to determine how to best use the site: continue to pay for advertising on Facebook or invest more in creating content like videos for branded pages.

General Motors is one of the world's largest advertisers, spending about $3 billion annually.

It had advertised on Facebook since 2008 and was spending about $10 million for paid ads and an additional $30 million on managing and creating content for their brand pages. The New York Times

First Published: Jul 04, 2012 21:10 IST