General Motors Spurns Pricey Super Bowl Ads

May 21, 2012
The announcement came just days after GM pulled online ads from Facebook.
General Motors Co. (IW 500/5) said it will skip the next Super Bowl advertising extravaganza because ads cost too much, just days after it pulled online ads from social network Facebook.

GM, the nation's largest automaker, was one of the biggest advertisers on this year's Super Bowl.

Watching the Super Bowl television spots has become a sport itself, as viewers eagerly await the advertising world's top-tier rivalry for the big sports audience.

"We understand the reach the Super Bowl provides, but with the significant increase in price, we simply can't justify the expense," said Joel Ewanick, head of GM's global marketing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing spot buyers, CBS television wants $3.8 million for a single, 30-second spot during the 2013 Super Bowl.

GM is the third-largest advertiser in the United States with expenditures of $1.8 billion in 2011, according to Kantar Media.

The automaker last week said it is pulling its advertising from Facebook because it determined paid ads had little impact on consumers.

GM had been spending about $10 million on paid advertising and $30 million on unpaid marketing on Facebook.

The automaker said it will continue to expand its use of unpaid marketing such as the creation and management of content on the Facebook pages of its brands and cars.

The GM pullout came at a bad time for Facebook, as the social network giant prepared for its market debut, and reflected concerns about the effectiveness of online advertising.

On Friday, Facebook's highly anticipated initial public offering fell flat. The stock, priced at $38 on Thursday in the largest-ever IPO for a technology firm, eked out a gain of just .61% to end at $38.23, amid record volume of more than 575 million shares.

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