Did InMarket Fudge Its Publisher Relationships?

Dotdash cries foul, saying 'mocks are fake'

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Dotdash, the company formerly known as About.com that serves as the umbrella for content brands like Verywell, Lifewire and ThoughtCo, sent a cease and desist order to location marketing firm InMarket for using its likeness in case studies.

What’s more, Dotdash said images in InMarket case studies have been doctored.

“We don’t work with InMarket. It seems the company is using our name and image without consent, which is incredibly misleading,” a Dotdash rep said in an email. “We’ve even taken steps to block them 100 percent programmatically.”

In an email, an InMarket rep said InMarket does not have a direct relationship with Verywell or the other sites mentioned in an Adweek story published earlier this week about location tracking and consumer opt-ins.

“InMarket’s industry differentiator is that we only use location data from publishers with whom we have a direct relationship. We can retarget ads programmatically, which appear on a variety of sites. To be clear, InMarket does not use location data from these sites or have direct relationships with them,” he added in a follow-up email. “A mock-up was used to demonstrate how these retargeted ads can appear. This image … was removed immediately when brought to our attention.”

Dotdash said Verywell popped up in a Google Alert on Wednesday, which led the team to the previous Adweek story.

“There is absolutely no use of the InMarket product by our brands,” wrote Jeff Hartwig, a lawyer for Dotdash, in an email to Adweek. “Dotdash brands do not use InMarket for any purpose, particularly the geo-tracking use noted in your article.”

On Twitter, Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel said Verywell does not work with InMarket and the screenshot was doctored:



InMarket uses VeryWell image (l) to show how its ad for Krave looks on mobile.

InMarket also included images from The Wall Street Journal in its case studies, but a rep for the WSJ said it does not work with InMarket.

The Krave case study and others have since been pulled from InMarket’s website.

Prior to the publication of the Adweek story on April 24, InMarket also featured BuzzFeed, CNN and the Food Network on its website. As of April 25, those images are gone as well. A BuzzFeed spokesperson responded in an email, “After asking around internally, to our knowledge we’ve never worked with InMarket.” CNN and the Food Network did not respond to requests for comment by deadline.


@lisalacy lisa.lacy@adweek.com Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.