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Google refunds two dollars for cop jobs ad on biker website

Australian Police raid bikers one day, recruit them the next

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google will reportedly refund two Australian dollars – that's $US1.89 or £1.19 – after an ad placed by Victoria Police appeared on the website of the Mongols motorcycle club.

The backdrop to the refund is a dramatic series of raids last Thursday that saw Victoria Police, providers of thin blue line as a service for the Australian State of Victoria, storm 60 premises suspected of being used by the local chapter of the Hell's Angels and other “outlaw” motorcycle gangs. Other Australian States have engaged in similar activity of late, and laws preventing gang members from associating are passing Australian parliaments with disconcerting speed and frequency.

Footage of a rather substantial gate bearing Hell's Angels insignia being torn from a clubhouse's hinges have been all over the news for days. Australia's army has been called in to help with follow-up raids.

Later coverage of the raids has suggested that some gang members have attempted to hide their tracks by adopting the colours of different gangs, with the US-based Mongols motorcycle club reportedly finding it has rather a lot of new Australian members.

As investigations into the Mongols unfurled, its web site was discovered, complete with Google ads … for Victoria Police's latest recruitment drive.

Marketing magazine B&T reports the ad generated 200 clicks, but once news of the ads' presence hit the media something else hit the fan.

B&T says Victoria's Police Minister has laid the blame at Google's door, insisting the Chocolate Factory has not matched keywords correctly. Said Minister demanded, and says he has received, a refund of the full two dollars and is now assuring the public none of its hard-earned was spent sustaining motorcycle gangs, anywhere, ever.

And the Mongols? There's an odd space at the bottom of the group' site that looks rather ad-shaped but is greyed out. There's also one live ad, for bail bond services. Sadly it links to the Mongols' own site.

And before you ask: Yes, now's the time for cracks about only criminals hosting Google ads. ®

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