On Monday 18 of September, Uber filed the lawsuit against the Dentsu-owned agency – Fetch Media in US District Court in San Francisco. The claimant is arguing that the agency has wasted millions of dollars on ads that were never shown properly and that is why were never seen by actual users.
Uber said that they have paid tens of millions dollars in the period of 2014-2017 to be advertised on mobile. The company did not share the total sum, however, they mentioned that just in between 2016 and early 2017 they paid about $82.5 million. The main claim was that Fetch Media has spent a part of the budget buying the ad spaces on the websites that did not even exist and another part of it on the ads, that could not be viewed by real users. These “invisible” ads included ads that appeared on the bottom of the websites, and users have never scrolled to catch them or ads of tiny sizes, so users could not distinguish them. According to Uber, Fetch has also taken credit for some installs that happened without clicks on Fetch’s ad banners.
Claimant emphasized that the agency knew about the problems with the ads and websites they had, however, they behave as if nothing was happening and provided Uber with reports stated that the number of installs of the app was growing.
In response to the claim Fetch said that they were shocked by Uber’s charges, that, as Fetch stressed, had no basis. According to them, the whole Uber’s lawsuit was only for “drawing attention away from Uber’s unprofessional behavior and failure to pay suppliers”
Fetch has canceled the contract with Uber a few months ago – just after Uber has stopped paying for their ads, pushed by more than 50 small ad networks that Fetch has involved into promotion.
Due to the fact that mobile ads expenditure rates are rapidly increasing, and ads are bought automatically and every second – it is very complicated to check where every banner was shown and whether it was viewed by the real person or not. This issue is raising the anxiety of other big brands to be advertised on mobile, as they also afraid of the risk to pay for ads that will not be shown and will not be seen.
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