Teenager Confuses Google AdWords With AdSense, Ends up Owing Google $120,000 in Ads

José Javier, a Spanish teenager living in a small city named ‘Old Tower’ or Torrevieja in Spanish, decided to become a famous –and rich– YouTuber.  Little did he know that instead of getting paid via Google’s Adsense, he was actually paying for advertising with Adwords.

In a bizarre event, a 12-year-old Spanish boy has ended up owing Google the whopping figure of $120,000 for advertising services. The high-school freshmen wanted to become a famous YouTuber.

The Spanish boy confused the popular Google Adsense program (in which content creators and website owners get paid for ad space) with Google’s Adwords service (in which companies and individuals pay Google for advertising). The USA-based company has released a statement this morning:

We have analyzed this case and we haven’t received payment from this particular user. We will proceed to cancel the user’s pending AdWords balance. Many online services, including Google AdWords, have age restrictions policies in place. We know how important it is to keep the family environment safe on the Internet. That’s why parents have our Safety Center available.

Inma Quesada, the mother of the teenager, told Spanish news agency, El País, that she didn’t know what her son was doing. According to her statement, the teenager decided to start an online ‘adventure’ with his friend. Both kids believed that they had subscribed to another service and that their activities were to be rewarded via advertising revenue.

José Javier entered a personal bank account number in Google’s AdWords dashboard. The account was arranged by his parents to encourage the kid to save money and was used to pay for the Ads. The mother announced that the company (Google) only asked for a bank account number and a name, without any more requisites.

The charges quickly piled up, from $20 at the start to $22,000. The account was already in red numbers when the bank called the parents to alert them. Google attempted to charge $80,000 for the served ads. The mother of the kid says that she is unable to understand how her son could spend that much money on the platform, especially when José Javier was ‘punished’ at the time the events unfolded with limited access to his personal computer.

Inma Quesada and her husband have contacted a lawyer, although Google’s reaction indicates that the parents’ decision will be unnecessary.

Source: El País

Image via Shutterstock