Advertiser Files Complaint To Block Google Click Fraud Settlement

One Google advertiser is making a very formal rejection of the proposed Google click fraud settlement -- he's filed a complaint to try and block the agreement, and this before notifications from Google have even gone out.

Let's go back, then forward. It was announced last March, given preliminary approval by the judge in April, and now Google is supposed to notify advertisers about the settlement by May 20. To date, I've not seen or heard anything about notices going out.

Last week, I wrote in Advertisers To Get Notices From Google In Click Fraud Settlement Later This Month more about how advertisers will need to opt-out of the settlement, if they don't like it -- and how at least one was against it.

Ex-Google Advertiser Sues Over Settlement from the Associated Press today covers how a different advertiser is also against it, to the point of having filed a formal complaint asking that the case be blocked.

For its part, Google issued a statement saying the complaint is may be motivated "more by the quest for attorney fees." Of course, the same could be said about the case being settled for what many feel is a cheap price, $90 million -- 1/3 of which will go to attorney fees.

Want to know more about the proposed deal? The agreement is here (PDF), and the order giving preliminary agreement is here.

Meanwhile, the law firm pushing for advertisers to stay out sent this release to me today:


LOS ANGELES, CALIF.--Advertisers have only days to opt out of a click fraud settlement agreement negotiated between Google and attorneys representing Google advertisers (Lane?s Gifts and Collectibles LLC, et al., v. Yahoo! Inc., et al.). Of the $90 million proposed settlement, $30 million will go to plaintiffs' attorneys. Only a fraction of the remaining $60 million will be distributed to Google advertisers, says Dylan Pollard, a Los Angeles-based plaintiffs' click fraud attorney, giving advertisers less than a penny for every $100 they can prove is lost through future click fraud abuses while advertising with Google.

"Advertisers must decide: take the pennies offered by Google and be happy with the status quo or opt out and pursue legal restitution through a lawsuit," says Pollard. "Either way, they don't have much time to decide."

Pollard and attorney Shawn Khorrami have created a website, that includes a sample opt out letter for advertisers.

"Advertisers could very well decide to absorb their losses and hope Google cleans up its act. Google is so powerful, advertisers may be afraid to challenge the company," explains Khorrami. "But if advertisers want to try to get their lost dollars back, the current settlement proposal isn't for them; previous losses are not addressed in the settlement. To try to obtain compensation from past click fraud abuse with Google, advertisers need to be pro-active. To start the process, they must opt out of the proposed settlement."

For further information on the Google settlement and advertiser options, advertisers can go to or call 866-546-7266

Keep in mind that you don't have to opt-out through this site. In fact, it's difficult to opt-out when Google doesn't appear to have even sent settlement notifications yet. I'm checking on the situation with that and will postscript.

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Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

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