Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Facebook Ads Work, Except When They Don’t. Sometimes. Maybe.

Fresh fuel for the “Do Facebook Ads Really Work?” debate: A survey that indicates advertisers themselves don’t really know what to think about the social network and its $3 billion-a-year ad business.

This one comes from Advertising Age and Citigroup, and the results are so varied that the survey’s sponsors don’t agree on what they mean.

Here’s Ad Age’s Mike Learmonth: “The results were a mixed bag for Facebook that illuminated some of the challenges it will have in scaling ad revenue, but it also indicated that some of Facebook’s perceived challenges with marketers — such as not providing enough transparency and data — are overblown. The results also revealed confusion on how to calculate return on investment on Facebook and how to compare that to spending in other social and traditional media channels.”

Citi’s Mark Mahaney, meanwhile, says the research indicates that Facebook ads have “somewhat limited appeal to advertisers today,” and cites the data as one of his “key investment negatives.”

Then again, Mahaney also thinks the results show that Facebook ads are “a relatively solid value proposition for advertisers,” and cites that conclusion as a “key investment positive.” Mahaney, by the way, is officially “neutral” on FB shares.

Dizzy yet? Time to look at some charts, published by both Citi and Ad Age, using the same data sets:

 


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”