Uber is suing advertising agency Fetch Media, owned by ad giant Dentsu, over alleged ad fraud.
The ride-sharing service claims the agency billed Uber for fake online ads and took credit for app downloads it didn’t generate.
Uber filed the lawsuit Monday afternoon in US District Court in San Francisco and is seeking at least $40 million in damages, according to Bloomberg reports.
Fetch Media has responded, strongly denying the allegations. Fetch CEO James Connelly said in a statement, “We vigorously deny the allegations from Uber and will be responding robustly to ensure we set the record straight.”
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The statement said Fetch Media ended its relationship with Uber a month ago after Uber stopped paying smaller suppliers Fetch was using to place Uber’s ads.
“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 behaviour and failure to pay suppliers,” Connelly wrote.
In the two years from 2015 to 2017, Uber handed over more than $82.5 million to Fetch and has refused to pay the $7 million it owes the agency, according to reports.
For its part, Uber said it discovered the alleged issues when it asked for its ads not to be displayed on right-wing news site Breitbart, but the ads continued to appear.
The case puts ad fraud and issues of transparency in the spotlight, following high-profile incidents which have plagued the industry throughout 2017.