21 Sep'17

Uber file lawsuit against Fetch for fraudulent advertisement


Bloomberg report ‘Uber is suing ad agency for click fraud’.


Uber are suing Fetch Media for fraudulent ads. They are aiming for at least $40 million for compensation. Bloomberg’s source are ‘people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified disclosing legal plans’.


Fetch’s responsibility is to buy ad placements and analyse how well they do, focusing on ads for mobile devices.


Uber are specifically accusing Fetch of running ads on websites that they did not want to be associated with, such as Breitbart, as well as Fetch’s claim for apps downloaded that they were not responsible for.


In response to the filed law suit, James Connolly, Fetch Chief Executive Officer, released the statement ‘We are shocked by Uber’s allegations which are unsubstantiated, completely without merit, and purposefully inflammatory so as to draw attention away from Uber’s unprofessional behavior and failure to pay suppliers,’


Connolly adds, “Fetch takes ad fraud extremely seriously and has been working with clients and suppliers to minimize its impact within ad networks,”


Talking to Campaign, Connolly, said they ‘had terminated its deal with Uber months ago after it stopped paying invoices for services provided by more than 50 small business suppliers engaged by Fetch to place Uber’s mobile advertising.’


Fetch may take fraud seriously, and deny the allegations, but with ’50 small businesses’ all working on Uber’s display advertisement, miscommunication within the network can occur. In addition, it is a difficult to monitor all of those within the network to make sure they were complying with legislations.


In Digiday’s cover of the new story, they look at ‘Why the Uber-Fetch lawsuit won’t change anything’. One of these reasons for this covered is the ‘clients setting unfair objectives’. An executive, who remains anonymous, is quoted saying for companies to set agencies chasing volume of installs this ‘results in fraudulent activity because fraudsters follow the money.’


The anonymous speaker summaries, ‘Essentially, the digital media world rewards some level of fraudulence.’


On the other side, another anonymous executive is quoted saying, ‘mobile ad fraud has been known about for a while’ but many ‘have done little about it, mainly because they haven’t had to care about it.’



If Uber wins the case, then this will cost Fetch significantly. But it goes beyond this. It will significantly affect the rest of the ad industry. Companies will have more courage to act against fraudulent advertising.