Facebook shares closed lower in the US Friday and amid the tumult the tech giant is experiencing, UK consumer finance guru Martin Lewis is set to be another thorn in its side. Lewis is set to launch court proceedings against Facebook for publishing fake ads featuring his name and face.
Facebook shares ended the Friday US trading session1.08% lower at $166.28. However, out-of-hours activity currently has the stock mildly in the green.
Lewis is planning to file court papers Monday against Facebook for publishing at least 50 different fake ads of him endorsing financial products.
Facebook’s policy is that it any misleading social media ads are not allowed on the site and if they are reported, they are then removed.
According to an article on MoneySavingExpert.com, Martin Lewis’ site, the fake ads featuring Lewis’ picture and/or recommendation have been reported to Facebook since 2016. However, the complaints weren’t escalated to the right department until 2017.
The ads link Lewis to numerous financial and energy saving products:
- PPI companies.
- Binary trading firms.
- Solar panel packages.
- Boiler deals
Lewis makes clear in a YouTube video that he never endorses companies like those mentioned above. And, if he were ever to point a good deal out, it would only be on his MSE website and still wouldn’t be a promotion of the product or deal, or an endorsement of it.
Facebook under fire
This latest threat of legal action against Facebook comes as the tech firm’s collection, use and storage of personal data remains under scrutiny.
And, the social media platform is still reeling from the revelation of mishandled user data between Facebook and data analyst firm Cambridge Analytica.
Earlier this month Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak lowered his Facebook price target from $230 per share to $200.
"Following FB's recent data/privacy issues and its announcement that it will end partnerships with third party data providers, we sense growing investor concern about near-term ad revenue," Nowak write in a note to clients.