Uber’s battle to retain its London licence may have grabbed all the headlines, but for the digital marketing industry there is another potential car crash after it emerged the taxi app company is suing Fetch Media over allegations that it was charged for ads which were “non-existent, non-viewable and fraudulent”.
According to a report in The Sunday Times, the cab firm has filed papers in San Francisco which allege Fetch Media “falsified” reports on the effectiveness of its online ads and “wilfully ignored” indications of ad fraud.
Dentsu-owned Fetch refutes the allegations, claiming it terminated its contract with Uber after it stopped paying its bills.
The agency was hired in 2015, and recruited more than 50 companies to place ads on mobile apps, websites and games. By last year, Uber was paying out more than $6m (£4.45m) a month, according to the lawsuit.
From 2016 to the first three months of this year, Uber claims it paid $82.m to Fetch and is now seeking half of that amount – $40m – through the legal action.
Uber said: “Fetch was running a Wild West of online ad fraud, allowing ads on sites we wanted nothing to do with, and fraudulently claiming credit for app downloads that happened without anyone ever clicking on an ad.”
But Fetch chief executive James Connelly insisted that the legal action was “unsubstantiated, completely without and purposefully inflammatory so as to draw attention away from Uber’s unprofessional behaviour and failure to pay clients”.
Unseen banner ads cost brands £606m during 2016
Online ad viewability push fails to make impression
Guidelines for online ad viewability ‘are nonsense’
Programmatic blamed as ad viewability levels crash
Why is digital industry so blind to viewability issue?
Digital ad viewability inches up but bubbly is on hold
Fresh blow to digital as ad viewability falls sharply
To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact email@example.com). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get them reset!