Research Finds Little Proof $27 Billion Advertisers Spent on Facebook Ads is Worthwhile, says Publisher Dr. Leslie Norins

If “Facebook advertising” were a drug, the FDA would not approve it becasue of lack of independent evidence it works.

Why is detailed, independent proof still lacking 5 years after Facebook’s IPO that Facebook ads produce revenue or profit for most advertisers?

If “Facebook advertising” were a drug, the FDA would not allow its sale because there is insufficient proof of efficacy, concludes Dr. Leslie Norins, a veteran medical publisher. His 6,100-word report of his six months of research has been published today on, an independent website (

“It’s astonishing that exactly five years after Facebook’s IPO, I could not find substantial independent evidence that the billions of dollars spent on Facebook advertising–$27 billion in 2016– is worthwhile for most advertisers,” he said. Advertising is Facebook’s main source of revenue.

Dr. Norins said that as a publisher with 40-plus years of experience, who originally had trained in medical research with a Nobel prize winner, his curiosity was aroused after testing a few hundred dollars of Facebook ads that produced no results. “I just wanted to read how big winners profited from their ads,” he said.

He first reviewed 250 of the ad “Success Stories” case histories offered on Facebook business’s own web pages. He judged many deficient: fuzzy definitions, unsubstantiated numbers, vague statements, no dollar amounts for resultant revenue or profit, short durations, and mostly small, new, and local companies. No ad campaign was reported repeated or expanded.

Next, he searched Google ten ways for articles showing Facebook ads produced revenue or profit for advertisers, and 426 million results were retrieved. He studied…

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