Google is being sued for what seems to be the same thing companies like AzoogleAds (now Epic) and World Avenue were investigated for by Florida’s Attorney General‘s Office. Those ad firms agreed to pay $1 million each for allegedly duping consumers into signing up for supposedly “free” mobile content services and other gifts that actually cost them.
Those firms served the lead-gen driven ads or bought ads on sites like Google promoting the offers. The AG’s Office also got AT&T to agree to pay $2.5 million for aiding what they considered free mobile content scams. As a carrier, AT&T billed customers for such “free” services.
There’s a chance other carriers, ad firms and even publishers like Google are on the Florida AG’s investigation list.
Now, as reported by Tech Marketing law blogger Eric Goldman, a class action suit has been filed against Google for helping these allegedly fraudulent mobile offers to perpetuate. Goldman doesn’t like it. He calls it a “misdirected lawsuit,” and believes Google shouldn’t be sued just for running the ads.
“The plaintiffs in this putative class action lawsuit feel like they got fleeced by providers of these subscription services,” writes Goldman. “If they did, I hope they get appropriate redress from the wrongdoing vendors. But instead of suing the allegedly fraudulent vendors, the plaintiffs think Google should cover the losses for the sole reason that Google ran ads for the services….. An analogy might be that dead-trees newspapers should stand behind any losses suffered by readers who transact with newspaper advertisers. Sounds ridiculous? It does to me, whether the publisher is online or off,” he continues.