THE parents of a 12-year-old boy had a major shock when they suddenly received a demand for over €100,000 from Google. Their son and a 15-year-old friend had created a channel on Google-owned YouTube about their band, Los Salerosos, and decided to try to make money from it by having advertisements inserted into their videos.
YouTube can include adverts alongside videos with a cut of the revenue going to the individual who uploaded the material. However, instead of signing up to YouTube’s advert-insertion service, the boys had accidentally signed up to Google AdWords, an online advertising service which displays clients’ ads to viewers. Advertisers then pay Google when a user clicks on their advertisement and is re-directed to their website.