GM advertising on Facebook again

April 10, 2013: 8:17 AM ET
2013 chevrolet sonic facebook ad
GM is returning to advertising on Facebook with a mobile ad for the Chevy Sonic.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

General Motors, one of the world's largest advertisers, is buying ads on Facebook for the first time in almost a year.

The ad, which debuts Wednesday, is only on Facebook's mobile site, and it is for the Chevrolet Sonic, an entry-level subcompact GM targets to younger buyers.

"Chevrolet is testing a number of mobile advertising solutions, including Facebook, as part of our Find New Roads campaign," said Chris Perry, vice president of marketing for Chevy. He said the ad utilizes newly available targeting and measurement capabilities on Facebook.

GM made the high-profile decision to stop buying ads on Facebook in early May of 2012, just about a week before Facebook's initial public offering. At the time, it said the decision to move its ad spending around between different outlets was something it did in the normal course of business.

While GM accounted for only a tiny portion of the $4.3 billion in advertising revenue that Facebook took in last year, the decision of a mainstream advertiser to pull out of the site was seen as a vote of no confidence. It came just at the time Facebook was launching an IPO that ended up being a major disappointment, with share prices falling sharply from the offering price.

Facebook (FB) shares were up 1.4% in premarket trading Wednesday. GM (GM) shares were not trading ahead of the open.

"We've had an ongoing dialogue with GM over the last 12 months and are pleased to have them back," said a statement from Facebook.

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Mobile ads are becoming an increasingly important part of Facebook's revenue base. The social network estimated that 23% of the ad revenue in the fourth quarter was from mobile ads, up from only 11% during all of 2012, according to the company's annual financial filing.

Facebook estimated it had 680 million mobile users worldwide as of December, up more than 50% from a year earlier. And earlier this month it unveiled Facebook Home, a custom homescreen for Android smartphones.


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