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Facebook, GM in talks to rekindle ad relationship, report says

General Motors is interested in bringing ads back to the social network only if Facebook can deliver better effectiveness.

The General Motors page on Facebook.
The General Motors page on Facebook. Screenshot by Jon Skillings/CNET

After a very public falling-out, Facebook and General Motors may be on the road to rekindling their advertising relationship, according to a new report.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing sources, that GM and Facebook are in talks to determine what it would take to bring the automobile company back to the social network's advertising platform. The Journal says that Facebook will give GM better data on how the company can increase ad effectiveness.

GM made waves back in May, just ahead of Facebook's IPO, when it decided to pull its $10 million ad campaign from Facebook, saying that the spending did not translate to increased sales. The company did, however, continue its efforts on its Facebook Pages.

A source told CNET soon after the announcement was made that "Facebook advised [GM] to invest more wisely in a campaign that would reach more people," but the company failed to do so.

Despite Facebook's efforts to bring GM back, the company has yet to make a commitment, according to the Journal. And until Facebook can prove that GM's investment will be worth it, the companies might have trouble actually coming to an agreement.

Although Facebook has said time and again that its advertising works and that companies can improve sales, a recent study from U.K.-based digital-marketing agency Greenlight found that 44 percent of respondents say they "never" click on an ad listed on the social network. Another 31 percent of respondents said that they "rarely" click on ads. Just 13 percent of those surveyed said that they either "often" or "regularly" click on the ads.

Greenlight said that Facebook has a clickthrough rate of 0.5 percent to 0.8 percent.

CNET has contacted Facebook for comment on the Journal's report. We will update this story when we have more information.