Uber sues Dentsu's Fetch over alleged ad fraud

Uber has filed a lawsuit in the US district court in San Francisco yesterday to take advertising agency Fetch Media to court for click fraud.

The ride-hailing company said that the Dentsu-owned firm had improperly billed it for fraudulent ads, as well as took credit for app downloads that it had nothing to do with. It is now seeking at least US$40 million in damages, according to Bloomberg. The amount is half of what the agency was paid (US$82.5 million) between 2015 and 2017 March.

Fetch’s parent company Dentsu is not named in the lawsuit.

Fetch was primarily responsible for buying ad placements for Uber and monitor the performances. According to the lawsuit, it was supposed to be compensated only when ads successfully led to Uber app downloads.

However, Uber alleges that Fetch had ran their ads on websites they wouldn't want to be associated, for instance conservative website Breitbart.

"With Fetch, we learned the age-old lesson 'buyer beware' the hard way," Uber said in the statement. "Fetch was running a wild west of online advertising fraud."

This marks the first lawsuit that is related to online advertising fraud.