General Motors LogoMost online marketers know that paid ads (whether Google Adwords ads, Facebook ads or any other) must be written in a compelling way that peaks the interest of their target audience.  Recently, GM pulled a $10 million advertising account from Facebook, claiming that the ads "don't work."  Apparently, the auto industry giant determined that the impact on consumers isn't worth the ad spend.

The question is, are Facebook ads really becoming ineffective, or is it the way GM's ads were written that was the problem?  Today, the content of an ad (or any written material, including blog posts, articles, etc.) must be tightly targeted and written in a way that grabs the readers attention, plays on their emotions, compels them to want to find out more.  Was this simply failure on GM's part to write effective ads, or is it something more?

According to some reports, 55% of Facebook users are women, 45% men.  While this is a fairly even split, it's estimated today that about 62% of new vehicle purchases are influenced or made by women.  Are the ads targeted toward the male population?  Some women seem to think so according to Momentum, where it was suggested that GM may be lacking in their ability to offer up engaging content and building relationships - particularly when it comes to resonating with women.

GM plans to continue using free Facebook pages in their marketing efforts, according to Joel Ewanick, GM marketing chief, who says that the unpaid pages are effective and important.  While the auto giant spends approximately $40 million total for content creation for Facebook and paid advertising, it's doubtful that the $10 million spent directly on paid ads will have a profound impact on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  Last year, Facebook had about $3.7 billion in revenue.  In comparison, $10 million is just a drop in the bucket.

What will happen if more big businesses follow suit, and pull out of paid advertising on the social media giant?  It could be that Facebook will eventually have to limit what companies are allowed to do at no cost.  In the end, the most popular social media site in the world has control over what messages get delivered, and how they get delivered.  So, what's the verdict? Were GM's paid ads just ineffectively written, or are consumers simply growing "immune" due to the saturation of advertising on the world wide web?