Uber sued for ad fraud claims – but are other brands falling victim?

In light of the news breaking this morning that Uber is being sued by Dentsu Aegis owned agency, Fetch Media, because it claimed the ads the company had generated were fraudulent.


Uber said in September that it had hired Fetch to place ‘legitimate’ ads to encourage new riders to download the Uber app, but it accused the company of wrongly claiming credit for app downloads that occurred without ads ever being clicked by genuine customers.

Uber also said that it had specifically requested that Fetch did not place ads on certain websites that it found to be offensive or inappropriate, such as Breitbart.com the conservative news website run by Steve Bannon, a former strategist for US President Donald Trump. Uber claimed that despite it asking for its ads not to be placed on these sites, they appeared there anyway.

In light of this, I thought that you might be interested in the findings in our new Programmatic Ad Fraud Transparency report, which included a survey of 150 Marketing Chiefs at brands with a revenue of over £100million:

  • Over a fifth (22%) of UK brands said that they plan to decrease their programmatic advertising spend in the next 12 months amid concerns over costs, performance and transparency;
  • Of those who said they would reduce their spend, 39% said it was due to a lack of transparency of which sites their ads would be placed;
  • Asked what proportion of their ads they could confidently say were seen by humans rather than bots over the past 12 months, only four in ten put the figure at more than half. Just 7% said they thought the proportion viewed by humans was 80% or more;
  • 80% of online ad buyers also said they were concerned that their current programmatic processes could lead to their adverts appearing on websites related to terror activities due to a lack of transparency over where they are being placed.