April 15, 2014

Twitter and Facebook ads don’t drive results, says Priceline

Priceline CEO Darren Huston, who presides over one of the biggest spenders on online advertising, says Twitter and Facebook ads aren't effective for the travel site. Google, as the best source for delivering that traffic, eats up about 90% of Priceline’s digital ad spending, which surged 41% last year to $1.8 billion, outpacing sales growth of 29%.

Priceline spends feverishly on Google advertisements to grab users searching for a hotel in New York or Paris - and because ads on Facebook and Twitter have failed to deliver results, Chief Executive Officer Darren Huston said.

“For Facebook and Twitter, we have endless amounts of money,” Huston said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. “But we haven’t found anything there.”

The comments by the chief of one of the biggest spenders on online advertising are set to stoke debate over which forms of digital marketing are most effective. Facebook and Twitter have grappled with questions of whether their social media ads provide a substantial return on investment for marketers, particularly at travel and e-commerce companies.

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