LinkedIn Incorrect Metrics for Advertising Class Action

LinkedIn Corporation makes money by displaying ads on its website. Central to this business is giving advertisers a way to judge the performance of their ads, and for this LinkedIn offers an interface called Campaign Manager. LinkedIn has announced it has found flaws in certain of Campaign Manager’s metrics and has issued credits to advertisers that it feels have been overcharged. But the complaint for this class action alleges that LinkedIn has not disclosed how it calculated the credits or decided which advertisers had been affected. It claims LinkedIn has engaged in negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation.

The class for this action is all persons or entities in the US who, between January 21, 2017 and the present, paid for advertisements on LinkedIn’s platform.

LinkedIn charges for advertising via three metrics: impressions, video views, and clicks. An impression occurs when an ad is displayed to a person; a video view occurs when s person watches the ad for a certain minimum length of time; and a click occurs when a person clicks on the ad. The complaint says, “It is estimated that LinkedIn generated $1.7 billion from ad sales to US-based advertisers in 2020.”

Advertisers make bids depending on what they are willing to pay. Those prices will naturally be based on their ads’ performance on LinkedIn.

Campaign Manager shows the metrics for specific ads. It also shows other metrics derived from those three, such as “view rate,” which equals video views divided by impressions. Advertisers decide how much they will spend on ads on LinkedIn based on these metrics. However, advertisers have no way to verify the accuracy of the data; only LinkedIn can do this.

In November 2020, LinkedIn announced that it had found “measurement errors” in its metrics for the past two years. For example, it recorded offscreen playing of video ads as video views; and it recorded a second impression when a person rotated the phone on which the ad was displayed.

The complaint contends, “The inflated metrics that LinkedIn disclosed went undetected for so long because LinkedIn’s internal auditing processes and system have been deficient for years.” At the time of the November announcement, LinkedIn said it would improve its processes and systems and would engage a media watchdog, the Media Rating Council, to audit its metrics.

While LinkedIn also announced that it would give “credits” to those it deemed had been affected, it never made clear how it determined who was affected or how the credits were calculated.

The complaint alleges that the inflated metrics caused advertisers to lose money in another way as well: If performance metrics are high, advertisers will think the ads are successful and will buy more ads. The complaint also says, “According to credible expert and other public sources, LinkedIn’s platform is plagued by fraudulent activity, including large volumes of invalid clicks.”

The complaint therefore claims that LinkedIn must “implement[] adequate auditing processes and systems to promptly detect and fix future errors that would inflate metrics.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

LinkedIn Incorrect Metrics for Advertising Complaint

January 21, 2021

LinkedIn Corporation makes money by displaying ads on its website. Central to this business is giving advertisers a way to judge the performance of their ads, and for this LinkedIn offers an interface called Campaign Manager. LinkedIn has announced it has found flaws in certain of Campaign Manager’s metrics and has issued credits to advertisers that it feels have been overcharged. But the complaint for this class action alleges that LinkedIn has not disclosed how it calculated the credits or decided which advertisers had been affected. It claims LinkedIn has engaged in negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation.

LinkedIn Incorrect Metrics for Advertising Complaint

Case Event History

LinkedIn Incorrect Metrics for Advertising Complaint

January 21, 2021

LinkedIn Corporation makes money by displaying ads on its website. Central to this business is giving advertisers a way to judge the performance of their ads, and for this LinkedIn offers an interface called Campaign Manager. LinkedIn has announced it has found flaws in certain of Campaign Manager’s metrics and has issued credits to advertisers that it feels have been overcharged. But the complaint for this class action alleges that LinkedIn has not disclosed how it calculated the credits or decided which advertisers had been affected. It claims LinkedIn has engaged in negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation.

LinkedIn Incorrect Metrics for Advertising Complaint
Tags: Metrics, Negligent Misrepresentation, Providing Incorrect Information