back to article Why GM slammed the brakes on its $10m Facebook ads

In the week that Facebook finally went public, General Motors has axed its paid-for advertising on Mark Zuckerberg's social network. GM said today that it was still going to have a Facebook page and everything, but it wasn't going to buy any more ads because they just aren't shifting enough cars. It reportedly spent $10m on …

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    1. Elmer Phud
      Holmes

      Re: GOOD FOR YOU GM

      Hmm, where are many 'GM' vehicles made?

      How much of the 'American' vehicles are merely assembled in the U.S.?

      Like us, you'd be scuppered without the Japanese and Chines and Koreans

    2. Pugwash
      Thumb Up

      Re: GOOD FOR YOU GM

      I'm so loving your work BIG DUMB GUY 555!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Make good interesting cars, then you won't need to spend $10M. When was the last time you saw a Porsche or Ferrari advert?

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Last time I saw a Porsche or Ferrari ad?

      I've seen a smattering of them in the States, usually magazines or the occasional billboard, but nothing on TV -- and not a one for Ferrari -- while ads for US and Japanese makes, of course, are all over the place, non-stop.

      As opposed to Porsche, BMW advertising is like a rash all over US TV, print, billboards, you name it. I don't know what that says about BMW, other than that they're one of the "hip" cars for affluent Americans to drive -- but then, so is Porsche, and I have yet to spot a Porsche ad on TV over here.

      Mind you, I'm sure things are entirely different in Europe and the UK.

      1. easyk

        Re: Last time I saw a Porsche or Ferrari ad?

        When they did their ugly SUV thing they did a few TV spots. Or maybe I maybe I made that up.

    2. deshepherd

      "When was the last time you saw a Porsche or Ferrari advert?"

      Don't know about Porsche but Ferrari have managed to get Sky to devote an entire channel to their adverts ... SkySports F1 - Ferrari's entire marketing activity is effectively their F1 team

      1. Charles Manning

        Wrong way around

        Ferrari don't race to promote their cars, they make cars to pay for their racing habit.

  3. jai

    shocking

    so Google are bad at social but good at advertising

    and Facebook is bad at adverts but good at social

    and this is a surprise to who?

    1. Ted Treen
      Childcatcher

      Re: shocking

      Perhaps it's not so clever on GM's part to have forked out $10Million: Most of my friends don't use Facebook, but their kids - aged between 10 and 20 do.

      I just wonder how sensible it is to spend such a lot advertising to those who won't be buyers for some years yet...

    2. Jean-Luc Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: shocking

      >and Facebook is bad at adverts but good at social

      >and this is a surprise to who?

      The folks plonking down $100B for FB, would be my guess ;-)

  4. James Boag
    Thumb Up

    <title> Why </title>

    I always mark all face book add as "sexually explicit" unless they are remotely sexually explicit then i mark em "uninteresting" !

  5. kevin king
    FAIL

    i think you find 77.9% of GM business is with other nations other than the USA http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/06/04/business/04overseas.graf01.ready.html

  6. sproot
    WTF?

    Are you sure?

    "Think about most banner ads: they have rich media and flash or video. These are all the things that would compel someone to want to click on an ad"

    This is a joke, right? Those are the things I installed AdBlock and NoScript for.

    1. jnewco81

      Re: Are you sure?

      Any company that runs Flash ads that jump out of the screen, obstructing the article i'm trying to read, get instantly added to my boycott list

      1. I think so I am?
        IT Angle

        Re: Are you sure?

        Initial blocking of Flash content should be standard build on all Web browsers

    2. Mike Flugennock

      "Rich" media? Hah, ha, that's rich!

      "Think about most banner ads: they have rich media and flash or video. These are all the things that would compel someone to want to click on an ad"

      This is a joke, right?

      Totally agree; AdBlock, NoScript and FlashBlock, FTW.

      Also, as long as I'm here, just a bit of translation:

      "Think about most banner ads: they have rich media and Flash or video. These are all the things that would compel someone to knee a Web site in the groin and, while it's doubled-up in pain on the ground, kick it repeatedly in the teeth."

      You're welcome.

      1. stanimir

        Re: "Rich" media? Hah, ha, that's rich!

        While facebook and twitter are on my adblock filter (and at the home router 'ban list' as well) I suppose most of the people actually consider the ads part of the website they visit.

    3. Zolko
      Thumb Up

      Ghostery

      and did you try ghostery ? It makes these following ads non-following, removes all unwanted traces, to combat this:

      "Say you've visited an airline company to book a trip to San Francisco and then you don't book it because you're just thinking about it. But then as you go to other websites like the BBC or USA Today the ads for that airline company follow you around from site to site, it's like a puppy dog following you home," Kim explained.

      I'm amazed how much tracking stuff is on all web pages (only 1 her: "DoubleClick")

    4. AdamWill

      Re: Are you sure?

      That's what I thought, then I realized we're not the people who ever click on ads in the _first_ place. So what makes an ad even more annoying to us, is of absolutely no interest to an advertiser.

      if a 'punch the monkey' ad gets clicked on twice as often by the kind of people who click on ads, but causes 53.6% more rage in an adblock user, which of those two statistics do you expect the advertiser to be more interested in?

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Trollface

        I always wonder why they don't recast those as...

        ...Punch the Advertising Executive.

        Surely they would get 10x the clicks!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you sure?: re: rage

        Rage, in an adblock+ user? Who are you trying to kid, we don't see such ads.

        As a test, if you're an adblock+ user, randomly select one of your bookmarked sites...and open it without adblock+. I'd bet you don't recognize it.

        1. Snowy Silver badge

          Re: Are you sure?: re: rage

          Aye did that on friends computer left me wonder if I had the right site.

        2. Steven Roper
          Facepalm

          Re: As a test, if you're an adblock+ user...

          Just did that, because I've been using AdBlock+ for years, and I haven't looked at the Internet without it for quite some time. Your post made me think I'd have a look, so I checked out El Reg, Demonoid, Listverse, Mental Floss, W3Schools, YouTube and Facebook with it switched off and...

          ...Holy Mother of God...

          ...AdBlock+ is back on now, and will be staying that way for the foreseeable future.

          D'oh icon because mfw I saw those sites with ads.

        3. AdamWill

          Re: Are you sure?: re: rage

          Sigh. Read the context. This sub-thread was started by an adblock user who was bashing how annoying Flash/video ads are. My point is that, since we block them, advertisers don't care about that at all.

  7. Horridbloke
    Facepalm

    Larry Kim is wrong.

    "Think about most banner ads: they have rich media and flash or video. These are all the things that would compel someone to want to click on an ad. use an ad blocker."

    Fixed for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Larry Kim is wrong.

      If you're using an adblocker arguably you're not the target audience for web advertising, flash animated or otherwise.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Larry Kim is wrong.

        However, if you annoy visitors enough one of two things happens:

        1) They go away and never come back.

        2) They install an ad blocker and never see another web advert.

        Both of these are failures for the advertiser, and the latter is more serious.

        Option 2 is more likely on a site that the user finds compelling because they want it despite the annoyance, and becomes almost certain if it has a social element that allows users to talk to each other.

        Somebody will discover ad blockers, and then everyone will get one.

  8. Silverburn

    Simplest explanation

    ...most GM cars are crap and unmarketable?

    1. Horridbloke
      Gimp

      Re: Simplest explanation

      "The Vauxhall Corsa: for people who don't know any better!"

      1. Peter Storm

        Re: Simplest explanation

        The Vauxhall Corsa: A badly dressed Fiat Grande Punto.

        1. Emj

          Re: Simplest explanation

          The Vauxhall Corsa: Just shit

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simplest explanation

        "The Entire Vauxhall Range: for people who don't know any better!"

        There, fixed it for you!

        1. Horridbloke
          WTF?

          Re: Simplest explanation

          I had no idea Vauxhall fanboys existed. I guess they don't know any better.

    2. Armando 123

      Re: Simplest explanation

      The American car companies have upped their game in the last seven or so years. My wife would NEVER have considered an American marque but she likes the Cadillac CTS, loved the Potiac Solstice, has seriously considered a Ford when we talk about replacing a VW Golf, ... Besides, when all the components are made in China (and those components include Toyota's bad brakes and BMW's bad fuel lines) and Honda, Toyota, and Subaru have assembly plants in Indiana, ...

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Meh

        @Armando123 Re: Simplest explanation

        Po[n]tiac Solstice..

        Well, fancying a car that is no longer made by the self same GM doesn't say much about...something....

        1. Armando 123

          Re: @Armando123 Simplest explanation

          Pontiac and Saturn, which had the same car under their badge, were axed when GM had to slash left and right in the wake of the financial crisis. They sold well enough and they got good reviews; the timing was bad.

    3. Tom 13
      Flame

      Re: Simplest explanation

      And even if they should produce something that isn't crap, so many of us 'Merkins are still so pissed at Government Motors over the government buyout we wouldn't buy one anyway.

  9. Elmer Phud
    Happy

    When I were a lad . . .

    . . . we used the Hosts file to block with.

    With AdBlock I tend to strip back as much of the adserver URL as possible to save time later.

    With Facebook and the current 'news feed' or the new 'here's something the bloke in the pub's brother's mate's dog looked at' there is the option to turn it off.

    I am tempted to turn off AdBlock to see what ads are aimed at my minimalistic and totally bogus 'personal details'.

    I like it that GM it to keep its free Facebook page - the big firms are learning from the punters.

    1. Fibbles

      Re: When I were a lad . . .

      Turning off the adblocker can be a bit of an eye-opener as to how bad things have gotten. For years I never new there were adverts in between Youtube videos...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Re: When I were a lad . . .

        There are? Have I missed any good ones? I've already seen the Bundaberg suitcases.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: When I were a lad . . .

      I personally have a double edged strategy.

      Facebook.com is blocked by my hosts file. There's nothing on there of value for me.

      Flash Ads I kill with noscript.

      I don't mind non-flash non-JS ads, they are OK.

  10. John A Blackley

    Not quite on topic

    but can anyone tell me why anyone thinks FB is worth a squillion dollars?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not quite on topic

      Because all bubble companies are worth whatever money they can persuade the gullible to part with unitil the music stops

    2. Horridbloke
      Unhappy

      Re: Not quite on topic

      "... can anyone tell me why anyone thinks FB is worth a squillion dollars?"

      Yes: some people are frigging idiots.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Not quite on topic

        "... can anyone tell me why anyone thinks FB is worth a squillion dollars?"

        Yes: some people are frigging idiots.

        Uhhm, yeah... what he said. Apparently, there are still plenty of dumbasses with lots of money who weren't fleeced during the original Dot Bomb Era.

    3. SavageNation
      FAIL

      EXACTLY. It's NOT, just Smoke & Mirrors.

      Dirty American politicians continue to allow the Wall St. 1% of 1%ers like JPM that go caught betting and losing 2 Billion dollars to keep BETTING unsuspecting hardworking people's retirement and savings (mutual funds and 401k), and take the suckers on the street, the casual investors for a ride.

      This is 1998 TGLO IPO redux. TheGlobe.com IPO Pop was reportedly a record increase, but crashed a couple of years later, and it was a far SUPERIOR site!

      FB = Fools' Buy

      1. Figgus
        Stop

        @SavageNation

        "JPM that go caught betting and losing 2 Billion dollars to keep BETTING unsuspecting hardworking people's retirement and savings (mutual funds and 401k),"

        Investing is betting, PERIOD. You risk your money in hopes that you will have more at the end.

        Nice rant and all, but I'm pretty sure you don't really understand economics that well.

        That said, YES Facebook is a fools buy, it's an inflated pop stock with no sustainable business model.

        1. bigphil9009

          Re: @SavageNation

          Erm, you know, when typing you don't have to type the word "PERIOD"; the little punctuation guy directly after does that for you....

    4. Sureo
      Coat

      Re: Not quite on topic

      May be something to do with the fact that they have 800 million active users.

      (coat 'cause I'm not one of them.)

    5. Naughtyhorse
      Happy

      Re: Not quite on topic

      aparrently it isnt. you see they dont have the cool code that sees i just cancelled a booking to fly to sf and then bombard me with ads for flights to sf..... you know, that place i DONT want to go to!

      FFS

      can you believe the bollocks these silicon cul-de-sac types spout

    6. Tom 13

      Re: Not quite on topic

      Well, the market droids focus on the explosive growth of FB, deftly avoid mentioning their revenue stream, then compare them to Google. Throw in a little "and Google are losing the social media wars" and the unsuspecting mark is well set to be separated from his money.

      I only wish there were far fewer institutional investors in the pool of unsuspecting marks.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook ads

    Seem to be mainly "have you been mis-sold PPI, Have you had an accident and want to Sue? Do you want to meet sexy singles"

    Basically the same sort of spammy shite you get via sms and email.

    Never been inclined to respond to the SMS or the spam so am not going to ever click through a FB ad.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Facebook ads

      Seem to be mainly "have you been mis-sold PPI, Have you had an accident and want to Sue? Do you want to meet sexy singles"

      As I mentioned on a couple of other threads... when opening my (rarely-visited) Facebook account, I gave totally bogus info; Facebook thinks I'm a thirty-five year-old woman living in Tripoli. The little thumbnail ads in my right column are hilarious: lots of cute chicks in headscarves, and almost all the ads are in Arabic, with the occasional one in English offering opportunities to study abroad in North Africa.

      1. I think so I am?
        Coat

        Re: Facebook ads

        Got to love a fake Facebook account - I'm a 106 year old male bisexual that studied Sarcasm and smart ass remarks at the University of Irony and Satire, live on the Moon, enjoy 400,000 km runs and breading space monkeys. I have 154 friends.

      2. h4rm0ny
        Thumb Up

        Re: Facebook ads

        Sounds like you've both hit on the same solutions as this:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eIUOUfhoJ8

        ;)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    like a puppy dog following you home

    But then as you go to other websites like the BBC or USA Today the ads for that airline company follow you around from site to site, it's like a puppy dog following you home," Kim explained.

    Ah, this wet marketeers dream... To which I say: Fuck you and fuck you puppy too. Just don't tell RSPCA.

    1. Allicorn

      Re: like a puppy dog following you home

      like a puppy dog shouty guy wearing a sandwich board following you home.

      And, y'know, that approach always results in a sale!

  13. Lord Zedd
    Stop

    Disable ads

    I clicked on the "Hide all from GM" button over a year ago. AdBlockPlus catches the normal web ads.

  14. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    My experience is not so much of a puppy following me from site to site as advertisers wasting money on me.

    I have a server with Tagadab (good company, don't get me wrong). I visited their site to log in to the control panel.

    Three months later, every website with advertising I go to is still advertising Tagadab to me, including LWN.net and lots of big-name sites. Same advert, no special deal or anything, just a link to their website.

    I know who they are. I'm a customer. But they (or, more likely, their ad campaign managers) are wasting their money by advertising to me again and again despite the fact that NONE OF THEIR COMPETITORS advertise to me in that same way. I only ever get Tagadab adverts. Similarly for when I bought a GoDaddy SSL certificate. I get advertised WORSE offers from GoDaddy than I can get just by going to GoDaddy's website and logging in. And I only ever see GoDaddy adverts for SSL certificates (and not, say, server hosting).

    Similarly, I clicked on a picture of a garment (not even an ad) from Milanoo to show my girlfriend something. Now interspersed, I get the same 3-4 Milanoo adverts all the time on loads of different sites (and how they think I might want to buy a Zentai suit or a "Lolita" country-style dress, I don't know, given that I clicked on a pair of men's trousers). I have no intention of buying clothes online (hell, I can't remember the last time I bought clothes full stop!), but there's no way to stop them throwing their money away on me.

    Seriously, given the amount of sites I go to, the length of time its been going on and the amount of advertising I see (I don't block it unless its obnoxious - some of those sites have to pay the bills), I must be costing those companies a significant amount for someone who's never going to be "swayed" by their advertising to do anything they weren't already going to do. Targeted adverts are really anything but targeted. And targeting an advert seems silly - surely the people who deal all day long in server hosting already know about server hosts, but may not know about, say, SSL certificates from you, or something completely unrelated to IT?

    Facebook's ads are rarely relevant as it is. Even if you spend ten minutes going through their "all ads" page and marking the ones you're interested in and the ones you're not, you still always see the uninteresting ones. If I'd BOTHERED to tell you what sort of adverts I'm not interested in, at least take note, especially seeing as I took the time to mark individual adverts and not just "Not interested in anything".

    In over 15 years of using the Internet, I've never once clicked on a single advert. I don't even mind adverts particularly because I can mentally turn them into whitespace even while speed-scanning a page and they keep some of the smaller operations running (my brother's Scout group gets a couple of camps a year and their hosting paid for by adverts on his Scouting website). But if you want me to actually click on them they have to be not only relevant, but interesting, offer me some incentive to click (not just "I can buy your product" but, say, "10% for me today because I clicked the advert and didn't just visit the site), and not spam me with adverts I've told you I'm not interested in, or adverts sent to me because I'd visited the page of a company that I'm already a customer of.

    Adverts are about brand-building and getting people onto your site. Without some sort of incentive, it won't happen, and the brand-building can happen in a million other ways.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Tagadab's strategy is working

      You have not seen adverts for the competitors.

    2. Mike Flugennock

      re: ads following you around, etc.

      "My experience is not so much of a puppy following me from site to site as advertisers wasting money on me..."

      Sounds good to me. The more money we can get those hucksters to waste, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: re: ads following you around, etc.

        As much as we all hate advertising it does work when done properly, this is why companies spend so much on it. Companies wasting money on ineffective advertising might sound good but in the end it's only going to result in the prices of their products going up, or worse, a good product being cancelled because it was advertised in the wrong way and sales were poor.

  15. Chad H.
    WTF?

    Maths

    Wordstream agrees with a Webtrends report that puts the Facebook click-through-rate (ad clicks versus impressions) at just 0.05 per cent, half the average for banner ads and ten times less than Google Display, which has a 0.4 per cent CTR.

    ---

    Last I checked, 0.05*10 is 0.5, whereas 0.05*8 is 0.4....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It took awhile...

    ...for GM to learn what most folks already know. Social networks are for the clueless.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    100 billion dollars

    Apparently Facebook is worth 100 billion dollars because the kids hang out there for hours a week.

    The clever analysts like the fact people spend hours on Facebook, and worry about the fact they only spend a few minutes a week on Google. Some believe FB is the future and Google is doomed.

    The clever analysts appear to have forgotten that it is better to have ten seconds with a customer who's looking for what you're selling, than having ten hours with a bunch of kids with no money who are just chilling with their mates.

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      Re: The clever analysts...

      ...As anyone who has ever worked in a shopping mall can tell you firsthand!

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: 100 billion dollars

      shorting facebook stock = profit? it's gotta crash hasn't it, 100 billion! what the hell!

  18. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    eyeballs

    Advertisers drool at the thought of reaching all of those young, supple eyeballs.

    Unfortunately the type of people who spend hours on faecesbook are not the people who have money to spend on advertised products and services, because they're wasting their lives away on faecesbook instead of going out into the world and having a job.

    1. ZillaOfManilla
      Coat

      Re: eyeballs

      faecesbook - that really is shit!

  19. Kay Burley ate my hamster
    Pint

    By boring car ads you mean..

    Those car ads where the driver is free to speed along winding roads with wonderful views and not another car on the road.

    I've always seen those ads as a home goal for the car companies, the landscape and views would be so much nicer without that twat blaring music and speeding through it... Perhaps that view is spreading.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Do they still do those adds...

      ...with cars driving around and around and up and down and turning left and right around some sort of infinite multi-storey carpark?

      It was almost enough to make me get religeon just on the off-chance that Hell existed and was just like that!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Love it!

    It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, when I hear that a company has spunked millions of £££s down the drain, on advertising which didn't work.

    Please can we have another feel-good follow-up story, about this leading to GM making some overpaid 'novelty tie and trendy glasses wearing' marketing executives redundant too?

    1. AdamWill

      Re: Love it!

      "It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, when I hear that a company has spunked millions of £££s down the drain, on advertising which didn't work."

      Why? If you've ever bought anything from said company, that was _your_ money they just spunked down the drain.

  21. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    They do, eh?

    "People tend to click on those ads, they're more relevant and more engaging [...]"

    I guess I'm not "people", then. (Although AdBlock and NoScript may have something to do with that...)

  22. Just Saying 132

    Dear GM,

    One reason your advertising isn't as effective as it could be is because of your products.

    1) It's hard to convince people to buy a lousy product from a poorly run company. Quality, fit, and finish have never really been a GM strength. Aesthetically speaking your products lag behind the foreign competition. 60,000 miles into the car and the interior looks faded and worn, the thing rattles, and it's completely uninspiring to drive. Oh yeah, and the trade in value is excessively low too. Why would I buy a car from you?

    2) When I go to a web page and it takes a long time to load, and half the reason is because I'm stuck with some stupid GM ad that I have to sit through before I can get to the content I want, I consider that irritating. Generally, irritating a potential customer is not the way to get them to purchase your product.

    People chase great products; great products don't chase people.

    Corollary - mediocre products chase people.

    Props to GM for killing Facebook ads, that makes you a less irritating company. Your problems however run deeper than just marketing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear GM,

      Yes, it's a pensions provider with some car factories attached, just as BT is a pensions provider with some phone lines attached.

      1. I think so I am?
        Coat

        Re: Dear GM,

        A better analogy would be how BP is a pension providers and does Gas and Oil as a side line

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's only money

    Tax payers have plenty more if GM gets it wrong again...

  24. Lance 3

    "People might own a car for ten years so it can be very difficult to know exactly when they're in the process of trying to buy a car."

    The change of a GM making it to 10 years is pretty slim, they are starting to fall apart by the time the warranty is over.

    If FB were wise, if they see you like GM, start giving them Taxi and wrecker services ads, maybe even some walking shoes.

  25. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "Think about most banner ads: they have rich media and flash or video. These are all the things that would compel someone to want to click on an ad. The Facebook ads are very boring, not very imaginative, they're not able to deliver a very rich experience because of the limitations of the ad format."

    They do? Is that what all those empty boxes with a "naught" symbol in them are? Thank goodness for flashblock 8-).

    Anyway... a lot of the type of people that use Facebook are the same ones that don't know anything about cars but think they do, they parrot the line that Toyotas and/or Hondas are the best cars on the market, and GM makes unreliable junk (neither of which has been true for about 15 years. Toyotas are now rated *average* in terms of defect rate, not that the defect rate on them has increased but almost every other make has decreased their defect rates.) In light of this, GM spending money on advertising is just pissing money away.

  26. Snowy Silver badge
    Mushroom

    FaceBook is not worth $100billon. They are only floating share worth a very small faction of the company then scaling that up to say what the whole is worth. It is like me taking a tile from my roof selling it for $1 and saying my house is now worth $10 million.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge
      Happy

      You have 10 million tiles on your roof? It might well be worth that much. Or possibly more.

  27. David Gale

    Sophisticated?

    "Ads that follow you from site to site" = sophisticated?

    More like a pain in the butt that's likely to disencourage me from visiting those sites.

    Advertising executives selling to themselves again...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a reason...

    ...why it's called FARCEbook.

  29. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Um...

    ""Say you've visited an airline company to book a trip to San Francisco and then you don't book it because you're just thinking about it. But then as you go to other websites like the BBC or USA Today the ads for that airline company follow you around from site to site, it's like a puppy dog following you home,"

    And it's advertising something I DECIDED NOT TO BUY.

    Or, it's advertising something I DID BUY AND DON'T WANT ANOTHER ONE RIGHT NOW.

    Things that you don't want to have come up advertised on everything that you view, include dating web site, weight loss products, medical products, job search, lawyers...

    I browsed for a RAM uprgrade, then I bought a module in a local store instead, and I was seeing advertisements for RAM for like a month, and this is WITHOUT using Facebook - although Google probably knows a lot about me. But I guess they don't know about other things that they could advertise to me.

  30. VulcanV5
    Happy

    Great news

    As a former print journalist, I'm always delighted at anything which helps ensure the longterm survival of hard-copy media. From local through to national, media depends upon ad revenue, but has since the 'Net came along suffered badly at the hands of eejit marketeers who say print is dead, the Net is the place to sell a product to zillions.

    Hilarious. Every week that passes sees more and more users turning to stuff like adblock and ghostery because they don't want advertising hype skipping after them like a 'puppy dog' (the guy who said that really does need to re-train for something else.)

    So. . . Well done, GM, for chucking $10 million at something as daft as Facebook with a user profile that perfectly matches the unemployed adolescent. A further $1 million could be saved by shutting down your entire marketing department, too. Oh, and definitely well done, all the lunatics investing in FB. As their losses mount and regrets harden, realisation will dawn that a decent intelligently produced ad in the print media -- say, reminiscent of the Volkswagen classics and Heineken -- is and always will be the way to go.

    Finally. . . I've also worked in advertising for many a year and what's so especially wunnerful about that is the fact that when a new client account is pitched for, we -- like every other agency -- always say that advertising has never sold anything and advertising never will. Advertising merely raises awareness. A-w-a-r-e-n-e-s-s. As in, not one TV commercial but many, many repetitions. As in, not one billboard but hundreds. Repetition counts. NOT relevance. Because what's relevant to a consumer may only occur *after* exposure to advertisement repetition.

    The gurus of Internet advertising, however, never admit to that because well, they'd be as deservedly jobless as so many FB users. Media 'experts' of the kind ramping up the FB offer are just as institutionally dumb: they actually do want everyone to believe that "relevant" advertising can be "delivered", in as much the same way as a few centuries back they'd doubtless have been hyping investment in spaceships made of wood and sail-cloth as the best way to go harvest all that lovely green cheese of which the moon is made.

    Shovelling ads out over the Internet where awareness of them can be blocked by the very target audience an advertiser hopes to capture is as futile as it gets. But don't ask prospective FB shareholders or corporate marketing depts or even ad agencies to accept that. They need their delusions of adequacy, even if it costs mega $millions to fuel such..

  31. NomNomNom

    who the hell clicks on banner ads?

    who are these idiots?

  32. rahenna

    indeed...

    FB is going on the stock exchange tomorrow and GM are trying to take off their IPO

  33. rahenna

    indeed...

    FB is going on the stock exchange tomorrow and GM are trying to take off their IPO ;)

  34. Alan Brown Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Vauxhalls

    GM tried to relaunch the Vauxhall range in New Zealand about a decade ago and only sold 3 cars. They had to recall/rebadge the lot as Opels and even then they didn't sell well.

    Bad memories last a long time.

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