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Ninth Circuit Affirms Class Certification Against Meta Platforms

Cohen Milstein

March 22, 2024

Consumer class action addresses Meta Platforms fraudulently misleading advertisers with inflated metrics about “potential reach.”

WASHINGTON, DC– The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s 2022 order certifying a class of advertisers who paid Meta Platforms, Inc. (Meta) to place advertisements on its social media platforms (the damages class).

Advertisers alleged that Meta fraudulently misrepresented the “potential reach” of advertisements on its platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, by stating that potential reach was an estimate of people, although it was actually an estimate of user accounts.

“We are very happy with today’s Ninth Circuit ruling. We now look forward to showing the evidence at trial that Meta knew about this inflated reach issue for years and yet continued to take advantage of advertising customers,” said Geoffrey Graber, partner at Cohen Milstein and Lead Counsel representing the plaintiffs in this class action.

Plaintiffs further allege that because Facebook inflated its “potential reach,” plaintiffs purchased more advertisements from Facebook and paid a higher price for advertisements than they otherwise would have.

Documents produced by Facebook confirm that senior executives at the company knew for years that its “potential reach” metric was inflated – yet they failed to do anything, and even took steps to cover up the problem. In fact, in late 2017 and throughout 2018, Facebook executives repeatedly acknowledged “potential reach” was inflated and misleading due to, among other reasons, the fact that “potential reach” includes duplicate and fake accounts.

The case, DZ Reserve et al. v. Meta Platforms, Case No. 3:18-cv-04978 (N.D. Cal.), is the second false advertising and unfair business practices class action, specifically addressing Meta Platforms’ inflated advertising metrics, that Cohen Milstein has led. In June 2020, the court granted final approval of a $40 million settlement against Facebook in LLE One, LLC v. Facebook (Meta Platforms, Inc.), No.: 4:16-cv-06232-JSW (N.D. Cal.). This case, which addressed inflated advertising performance metrics related to video advertisements, was also led by Geoffrey Graber.

The Cohen Milstein team representing the plaintiff class in DZ Reserve v. Meta Platforms, Inc. is Geoffrey Graber, Eric Kafka, Karina Puttieva, and Madelyn Petersen. The plaintiff class is also represented by Charles Reichmann of the Law Offices of Charles Reichmann.

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