Google makes money from illegal Olympic 2012 ads apparently

10 January 2012

Google PopeyeUh-oh! Google, according to a report, have been making a tidy profit from illegal adverts, including one that claim to be selling 2012 Olympics tickets.

Google have admitted (to the BBC, so it must be true) that they keep any money made from companies advertising illegal services before they are taken down.

So basically, they get pennies for adverts that sell cannabis, fake IDs and those that sell Olympic tickets on the open market... which is illegal unless you have permission from the correct authorities.

Of course, Google took the ads down as soon as they became aware of them, but they still make money on them through AdWords.

"We have a set of policies covering which ads can and cannot show on Google. These policies and guidelines are enforced by both automated systems and human beings," Google said. "When we are informed of ads which break our policies, we investigate and remove them if appropriate... Our aim is to create a simple and efficient way for legitimate businesses to promote and sell their goods and services whilst protecting them and consumers from illicit activity."

It isn't the first time Google have been in trouble for adverts. Last summer, they had to give up $500 million (£324 million) in revenue for publishing ads from Canadian pharmacies selling illegal drugs to US consumers.

TOPICS:   Technology   Government   Advertising


  • Steve O.
    Huh? Is this even a story? The alternative is that Google gives the money back to the criminals. Adwords is paid for by the advertiser and is used to cover the costs (and make a very healthy profit) of running a search engine. If Google gave back the fees for Adwords when it took the ad down there would be no disincentive for the criminal. Advertise for free cos you get your money back when it's taken down. Google *could* give the money to charity, but perhaps it does already give a chunk of its profits away. Who knows?
  • Sicknote
    So what, just another example of a company making money from stupid people using the internet. It will be EcrookBay and Pay-no-one-Pal tomorrow and the same people will be bitching and the same politicians will be calling for action. If it wasn't for stupid people then my kids wouldn't get served in fast food restaurants.
  • Liam
    Google has heavily promoted safe surfing/shopping campaigns with the Citizen's Advice Bureau. And yes it does also fund charitable projects too... So it isn't so bad. As someone who works in digital, it's a bit of a non-story. Whatever will those anti capitalist Beeb hacks come up with next? Ebay keeping commission from dodgy/broken wares??
  • oliverreed
    @Sicknote if it wasn't for stupid people then a market for fast food wouldn't exist.

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