Google drops €100,000 AdWords bill for 12-year-old Spanish trumpet player
Google has forgiven a 12-year-old Spanish boy who inadvertently spent €100,000 on an AdWords campaign while trying raise funds for his brass band.
Jose Javier, who plays the trumpet and lives in Torrevieja, created an account in August and was under the impression that each click generated would make him money. This is contrary to how AdWords works, the service charging the advertiser each time someone navigates through to their website.
A spokesperson for Google said that “a 12-year-old boy doesn't want to start spending 100,000 euros” and that “it was all a mistake and that he did it without thinking”.
The boy’s mother Inma Quesada said that he was looking to buy new instruments for his band, Los Salerosos. She had only become aware of the escalating fees when her bank called to warn them about the upcoming charges.
Thankfully Google was in a forgiving mood and, after reviewing the case, decided to write off the debt. Being only 12 years old, Jose Javier is too young to sign what would have been a costly advertising agreement.
He had clearly been more than capable of setting up an effective campaign through the AdWords service, which elevates websites up Google rankings for particular search terms the user bids for. And despite the mishap, Los Salerosos has received lots of now free publicity and may yet be able to afford new instruments in the near future.
To make sure you don’t inadvertently spend €100,000, Google has numerous AdWords help and support pages and blogs to help users get the most out of the advertising budgets.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”