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This Massive Company Is Rethinking Advertising on Facebook

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The world’s biggest ad buyer is spending less on targeted Facebook (FB) ads.

Marc Pritchard, Chief Financial Officer for Procter & Gamble (PG), the parent company for dozens of consumer brands, told The Wall Street Journal, that the company has concluded that social media advertising is not always that effective. He said his employer won’t cut back on Facebook ad spending overall, but it does plan to reduce its overuse of targeted ad buys.

“We targeted too much and we went too narrow,” Pritchard told The Journal. “Now we’re looking at: What is the best way to get the most reach, but also the right precision?”

The move mirrors a similar one made by General Motors in 2012 just before Facebook’s IPO, which caused a brief dip in the company’s stock.

P&G (PG) emphasized this afternoon that it will still use targeted Facebook ads where it feels they’re effective.


“Our brands will continue to use Facebook to reach consumers, including targeting, where it makes sense,” P&G spokesperson Tressie Rose tells Fortune via email. “Facebook has been one of our first and most consistent [social media] partners. We’ve worked together over the years to constantly learn as technology and consumer media habits have changed.”

Facebook says the move is nothing new and emphasizes that P&G is only adjusting its targeted ad spending, not the amount it spends on Facebook ads overall.

“Their advertising spending continues to grow,” Facebook spokeswoman Elizabeth Diana tells Fortune. “Improvement and refinement of what works and what doesn’t is important. [P&G] targeted in some instances and learned a good blend of targeting and mass reach. They’ve been successful on our platform and continue to be successful.”

Facebook’s dependency on ad revenue cannot be overstated.

Earlier today, the company announced its creation of new ad interface features that bypass software ad filters, but allow users to filter out ads according to their own individual preferences.