Advertisers File Class Action Complaint against Facebook
Some advertisers have moved to press a class action complaint accusing Facebook of lying to them by inflating the possible reach of their ads.
‘Advertisers come to the platform for its ‘unprecedented potential reach’’ says the owner of Therapy Thread, Danielle Singer. ‘This is a foundational false representation,’ she adds.
Singer, together with the others want the court judge, James Donato to reject the company’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
The dispute started in August, last year when Singer allegedly accused Facebook of inducing them to buy ads at high rates by inflating the potential reach. Singer says that she spent $14 000 on Facebook ads between 2013 October and 2018 April. The other advertisers joined the suit after she filed it.
The complaint quotes reports by third parties including Video Advertising Bureau which reported Facebook estimates for 2017 to include numbers higher than the populations of some states they claimed to serve.
Facebook asked the judge to dismiss the complaint by their estimates being for campaigns, and not guarantees so that they do not affect billing.
‘We charge advertisers based on outcomes like website conversions, impressions or clicks on an ad,’ wrote the company in their submissions to Donato. The company further states that they base their pricing on an auction system.
The company also claims that it discloses the estimates to the advertiser without basing their numbers on census data or information from third parties. ‘It is not believable that plaintiffs placed ads with our platform while knowing that our estimates do not marry with census and survey data,’ argues the company.
Singer and the others say that they need to proceed with their claims.
‘Facebook says that it should have the freedom to inflate its core metrics. The court needs to reject this kind of reasoning,’ they say.
Donato is to hold the hearing on May 16.
At the same time, Facebook is facing another lawsuit over allegations for inflating video metrics. The matter is pending before Judge Jeffery White of a District Court in California.