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 USA - Google sued over "fraudulent" AdWords (Goddard v. Google)

Jenna Goddard claims she was injured when she provided her cell phone number to an allegedly fraudulent mobile subscription service website and was charged for unwanted mobile content services in form of premium text messages. But instead of suing the subscription service, she went after Google and sued the company. Why? Goddard says that she performed a Google search for "ringtone" and an ad pointed her to the scammy ringtone provider.

In its Content policy Google only allows a ad for a mobile subscription service, if it accurately discloses a host of higly relevant information to consumers, such as the service's price, subscription period and cancellation procedures (for details see Goddard claims that Google is aware that mobile subscription services frequently do not disclose these terms, but driven by financial motivations does not live up to its contractual obligations not to run ads for these companies. "Fortunately for deceptive mobile subscription services, Google has systematically declined to live up to its contractual obligations, irrespective of its public pronouncements to do so, opting instead to line its own pockets through an 'anything goes' approach to the advertising and sale of mobile content," reads the complaint.

Goddard hopes to have the lawsuit elevated to class status.

Goddard v. Google, Inc., Case No. 108CV111658 (Cal. Super. Ct. complaint dated April 30, 2008). Google's notice of removal to federal court C08 02738 (N.D. Cal. removal notice dated May 30, 2008).

For more information see: Goldman, Eric, Google Sued for Running Ads for "Fraudulent Mobile Subscription Services"--Goddard v. Google, Technology & Marketing Law Blog




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