Facebook and General Motors are in talks concerning the potential return of the car maker as a paid advertiser, according to reports.
Two months ago, GM said it would stop investing in paid advertisements on social media and networking sites. The loss of the third-largest U.S. advertiser came as a blow to Facebook, especially in regards to the unveiling of its IPO which was made days before GM's announcement.
The withdrawal was made in May. GM's global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, said paid advertising on the site made little difference on car purchase patterns in consumers.
The car maker, who spent $10 million on Facebook advertising last year, emphasized at the time it would keep its Facebook pages -- which are, of course, free -- to market some of its products.
However, the withdrawal became a public relations fiasco for the social networking site, as it tried to entice investors towards the concept of paid advertising -- and prove that it worked as well as traditional advertising and media strategies.
The move caused hesitation in other advertisers, who were unsure whether paid advertising was profitable, or whether investing in content such as videos for free, branded pages was more worthwhile.
However, sources close to both companies have suggested that senior executives from both companies -- including chief operating officer for Facebook Sheryl Sandberg and Daniel Akerson, the chief executive at General Motors -- are currently in talks to mend the high-profile fallout.
A G.M. spokesman, Greg Martin, has confirmed that the automaker is discussing options with Facebook. No specific details have been disclosed, but GM is reportedly requesting more detailed information on Facebook’s visitors and advertising success rates.
There is no expectation of an agreement being reached any time soon, according to a GM executive close to the talks. Facebook was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
The talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.