12-year-old Spanish boy racks up €100,000 advertising bill with Google for advertising his brass band
A budding 12-year-old Spanish musician boy mistakenly racked up huge advertising fees of €100,000 (£88,000/US$112,000) with Google in an attempt to make his brass band famous online. However, the search giant has decided to waive the inflated bill after it found out that the 12-year-old had made a costly “mistake”.
It all began in August 2016 when the boy named Jose Javier from the south-eastern seaside city of Torrevieja created an account with AdWords – an online advertising service by Google that enables advertisers to compete to display brief advertising copy to web users based in part on cookies, keywords, predefined by the advertisers, that might link the copy to the content of web pages shown to users.
Jose was under the impression that he would earn his band money if people clicked on the link to his homemade website, but the service works the other way around.
To use the service, the advertiser needs to give his or her credit card details and only pay when someone clicks on the link. The service can be used to help sell products, to promote businesses as well as increase traffic to websites. An advertiser can select where their ad appears and can set a budget accordingly for it to be displayed on the search engine. AdWords puts advertising higher up Google’s search results and on other websites.
While opening the account for the service, Jose provided his banking details and was being charged every time someone clicked on the link of his site, according to the BBC.
However, when Google realised that the boy had made a mistake and decided to waive the bill.
“It was all a mistake and that he did it without thinking”, a Google spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
“A 12-year-old boy doesn’t want to start spending €100,000.”
Inma Quesada, Jose’s mother told El Pais daily that her son “wanted to buy instruments” for his band Los Salerosos, loosely translated as The Salties, where he plays a trumpeter. Jose’s parents only realised what was going on when the bank called them to let them know about the charges.
Source: The Guardian