Two advertisers who sued Google for allegedly inflating video ad metrics abruptly dropped their class-action complaint on Thursday.
The withdrawal was without prejudice, which leaves the advertisers free to bring their claims again in the future, or in another court. Attorneys for the advertisers and Google haven't yet responded to MediaPost's requests for comment about the move.
The complaint, brought in federal court this July by Virginia resident Dashawn Williams and California resident Devon Holmes, centered on Google's “TrueView” skippable video ads -- which were the subject of a disputed Adalytics report.
Google has said TrueView runs on Google-owned YouTube or “high-quality” sites in Google's video network. Google also said users could skip the ads after five seconds, and advertisers would only pay for ads that were not skipped.
Adalytics reported in June that up to 80% of the TrueView ads served to sites in Google's video network violated the company's standards. That report also claimed that many TrueView in-stream ads “were served muted and auto-playing as out-stream video or as obscured video players on independent sites.”
Google disputed that report, arguing Adalytics' methodology was “irresponsible and faulty.”
“The claim that up to 80% of ad placements in [Google Video Partners] are below Google’s standards is utterly false,” Marvin Renaud, Director of Global Video Solutions at Google, wrote in a July 13 blog post.
“Just because an ad is served, doesn’t mean we charged the advertiser,” Renaud added. “The report ignores or is unaware of this distinction and incorrectly assumes that a served impression is automatically billed. We actively monitor the Google Video Partners network, using a combination of automated filters and human reviews, and if our systems detect invalid traffic, we don’t bill an advertiser.”