The Risk of Online Marketing: Google Advertises Easyjet on Ryanair’s Website

02 Sep

Today whilst I was trying to book a cheap flight back to the UK I came across something rather odd. An advert sourced by Google displayed on Ryanair’s website for Ryanair’s number 1 arch enemy, EasyJet. Not just on any page on Ryanair’s website either, but the very sensitive page which tells me how much Ryanair will charge me for the flight and what the famous “extras” will be.

Here’s the Print Screen I took 30 minutes ago.


I find this loophole in Google ads very odd, and if I was responsible for web content, or indeed if I held any position of influence in Ryanair, I’d want to ensure that any adverts that appeared on my website were sanctioned by my organisation. This doesn’t appear to be the case here, and Google seem to be slapping up any old adverts that seem to be based on the content of the page.

Revenue from online advertising is, I imagine, lucrative for both Easyjet and Ryanair, as well as Google obviously, but this throws into light the lack of apparent control web controllers and wider management have over Google. The automatic and instant function of scraping the content of my screen and throwing up supposedly connected and hopefully interesting content can deliver great rewards but as seen here, can also deliver revenue straight into the hands of your number 1 competitor from YOUR OWN website.

Ryanair must sanction the use of Google ads, but my question is do they control the content? It doesn’t look like it, so must Google move to prevent this? If so, how?

Me personally? Sure, I checked out Easyjet’s fares. And yes, they were cheaper as the advert suggests. So guess what happened?!

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