Just as Facebook goes public and raises $16 billion General Motors announces that Facebook Ads don't pay off. GM is spending a staggering $40m per year on its Facebook presence and although only a mere $10m is spent on ads it's reached the conclusion that they simply don't work. Shock, horror. Did anyone at GM read ComScore's 2009 report called Natural Born Clickers? It concludes after a year of research;
Barely anyone clicks on banner ads anymore. The number of people online who click display ads has dropped 50% in less than two years, and only 8% of internet users account for 85% of all clicks.
In 2006 academics reached this conclusion as far back as 2006 but Techcrunch picked it this up in 2009 here. Their research is based on the analysis of large datasets from Youtube, Flickr and others and concluded that the current model is unlikely to survive, principally due to lack of trust.