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Uber facing counter-lawsuit from vendors for 'missed payments'

James Connelly, the chief executive of Fetch, claimed that Uber stopped paying invoices and refused advice

Under-fire Fetch has vowed to "set the record straight" over legal charges filed against it by Uber, with the Dentsu Aegis agency alleging the ride-hailing service had stopped honoring payment terms and refused its counsel on fraud reduction. It has also been hinted that several vendors are poised to pursue Uber for compensation with their own legal filings.

Fetch has branded Uber's legal charges that it failed to return rebates on media spend to the company, misrepresented the effectiveness of its mobile ads, and failed to prevent ad fraud as "unsubstantiated."

Amid the allegations of opaque practices filed against it, Fetch has claimed that it terminated its agreement with Uber "months ago" after the brand "stopped paying invoices for services" provided by over 50 small business suppliers engaged by Fetch to place Uber’s mobile advertising.

Some of those vendors are believed to be filing their own lawsuits against Uber to recoup unpaid invoices, The Drum understands.

Responding to this, Uber said that it was not aware of any current lawsuits filed against it on this matter, but confirmed that it refused to pay a number of its digital media and mobile ad vendors earlier this year as it investigated suspected fraudulent ad activity.

"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," said James Connelly, chief executive of Fetch, in a statement.

“Fetch takes ad fraud extremely seriously and has been working with clients and suppliers to minimise its impact within ad networks. It is unfortunate that Uber would misconstrue facts and use an industry-wide issue as a means of avoiding its contractual obligations. We vigorously deny the allegations from Uber and will be responding robustly to ensure we set the record straight," he added.

Other clients listed on Fetch's website and LinkedIn page include HSBC, Facebook, Telegraph Media Group, eBay, Hotels.com, Expedia, Lululemon. The Drum has contacted the adervertisers but was awaiting comment at the time of writing.

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