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Facebook Turns to comScore to Show its Ads Work

June 11, 2012

By Cromwell Schubarth, Multimedia/Research Editor - Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

Facebook Inc. is using a study it commissioned by comScore to show, contrary to what General Motors says, ads on its social network really do work.

ComScore will reportedly discuss the report on Tuesday at the Advertising Research Foundation, but some details found their way into morning news reports.

One of the research firm's vice presidents, Andrew Lipsman, told Bloomberg that users who saw unpaid marketing messages on Facebook about Starbucks bought something at the coffee chain within four weeks 38 percent more often than those who didn't.

ComScore also said that Facebook members who "like" Target stores, along with their friends, bought items from the retailer 21 percent more frequently, both in-store and online.

The research comes several weeks after GM announced it was pulling its Facebook ads, but not its company page on the social networking giant's site. GM said it was doing so because the ads, of the type which provides Facebook with most of its revenue, simply didn't work.

The news came just before Facebook's May 18 stock debut, cited by some as a contributing factor in its disappointing performance to date. The stock (NASDAQ:FB) dropped by as much as 32 percent to as low as $25.52 last week after selling in its IPO at $38. It has recovered slightly since then and was trading at $27.29 on Tuesday morning.

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