They included those relating to cannabis and fake ID cards, apart from Olympic tickets and fake passports
Google has admitted to making gains from ‘illegal’ advertisements run by AdWords, its automated advertising system, which included illegal advertisements for fake UK passports, as per research carried out by the BBC radio.
Further investigation revealed that a listener by the name Liz and her sisters spent about £750 as they came across an ad "LiveOlympic Tickets" when they typed "Olympic Tickets" assuming it was a ‘sponsored ad’.
Liz received an e-mail asking to fax a copy of her signature without which the sale could not be completed, following which she alerted the concerned authorities, prompting UK police to act so that Google would remove that link.
Google said it has a set of policies enforced through humans and machines that could regularise which ads appear on their page, and it would keep any money made from companies advertising illegal services and remove these ads.
Google runs a manual assessment if an advert is flagged by a filter and a ‘manual’ process is initiated and the advert will be taken down if it goes against the policy.
The company added it is in their interest to allow legitimate businesses to promote and sell their offerings through Google, and they would act promptly in clearing or removing any advertisements found to be going against the guidelines.
Apart from tickets and fake passports, the sponsored ads included those relating to cannabis and fake ID cards.