Technology

Google trainee puts up dummy advert by mistake

Google on phone and screen Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The error was made as trainees were shown Google's global ad system

A Google training exercise that went wrong meant a dummy advert was placed on a "huge number" of webpages and apps, the Financial Times has reported.

The mistake meant a blank yellow rectangle was active on the sites and apps for about 45 minutes on 4 December, it said.

The ad was only visible to people in the US and Australia.

The mistake happened when trainees were being shown how to use Google's in-house ad placing system.

Cost calls

The ad was sent out because one trainee "went further than intended" and submitted a live order into the advert buying system.

The advert was placed at a far higher rate of return than any other ad and was routed through several third-party exchanges, so it reached a wide audience.

"As soon as we were made aware of this honest mistake we worked quickly to stop the campaigns running," said Google in a statement.

It added that it would "honour" any payments to publishers which they incurred as a result of the mistake.

The exact cost of the error has not been made clear but the FT speculated that it would cost Google about $10m (£7.9m) in fees and clean up costs to rectify it.

Google said it would put controls in place to prevent the mistake being repeated.

Related Topics

More on this story