Posted July 16, 2008 9:49 am by with 10 comments

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Leave it to a lawyer to come up with a new Google complaint and then turn it into a class action lawsuit.

InformationWeek reports that attorney Hal K. Levitte is suing because his ads were shown on Google’s Adsense for Domains and AdSense for Errors partners.

Levitte spent $136.11 for ads on parked domains and error pages, which works out to 15.3% of his $887.67 ad campaign.

In seeking class certification for the lawsuit, Levitte’s attorneys hope to represent other aggrieved Google advertisers. "We believe it’s a problem that affects all [Google’s] advertisers equally," said Kimberly Kralowec, partner at the law firm representing Levitte.

Levitte’s ads received around 203,500 overall impressions across the two programs, generated less than 700 clicks, with zero conversions.

I’m guessing that his ad campaign just plain sucked. After all, if it didn’t, surely he’d have enough leads coming in from Google’s other channels to keep him busy enough to not have time for frivolous lawsuits.

Still, he’s smart. There’s no point pursuing $136.11 in the courts. By seeking class action status, he’s hoping others will join in. $136.11 multiplied by a few thousand advertisers, becomes a more interesting number.

What do you think? Will he win? Will Google prevail? Or, will this just get quietly settled in 9 months from now?


  • Interesting… while ads on parked domains are fine (through the AdSense for Domains program), the AdSense TOS prohibits the ads to be displayed on error pages – although I haven’t really seen this enforced. Frivolous lawsuit, yes, but I think Google will still have to give an explanation about how they enforce their own rules to publishers.

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  • Linkbait!!!

  • Andy – sounds like the coverage he is getting makes it worth way more than the value of his claim. Class action lawyer linkbait?!?

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  • Darn, I was hoping to call that first…

  • I thin Google will win this fight

  • Jordan McCollum

    How does the saying go? “Lawyer sues Google over $136.11, that’s not news. Google sues lawyer over $136.11, that’s news”? 😉

  • @Jordan – that would be news for sure!

  • PS3

    I don’t usually have sympathy for the big boys like Google but they can’t win either way. I hope they win and set a trend against frivolous suits.

  • I guess it’s the principle of the matter, right?

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  • Any town too small for one attorney can always afford two!

    Anybody who knows will tell you, the only people that benefit from class actions are the attorneys.

    Google is a deep pocket. It makes the ambulance chasers drool just thinking about it.