The Click Trap: The Dark Side of Google’s Advertising System

Google has redefined our civilization. With more than 3,500 million daily searches and a 92% global share, the search engine has completely changed the way we access information. 

We all assume that Google Search results are trustworthy but many people don’t know that the top positions of the results page are paid advertisements, from which Google makes most of its income. Every day, thousands of people worldwide fall prey to cybercriminals and unscrupulous companies who use Google Search’s opaque advertising system to promote their scams. The tech giant doesn’t monitor the veracity of the ads and victims are powerless as there are no laws that can apply.

Andrea Hall lost her savings after investing in unregulated mini-bonds that came up in a “low-risk investment” google search. BP spent billions of dollars on google advertising after the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster to secure top positions in searches for “oil spill” or “gulf disaster” and direct people to their own PR. Other people have been targeted by casinos after google searches for help with their additions. According to one study, 80% of the pharmacies that advertise on Google are illegal and many sell products that can be potentially harmful to users. 

Is it time to regulate online advertising?


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 90 & 52 mins
  • Production: Polar Star Films & Yuzu Productions
  • Director: Peter Porta
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, ESP
  • Country of production: Spain

Related Programs

Legendary Homes and Hotels

More than just buildings, these famous homes and hotels are the repositories for extraordinary visions, hopes and extraordinary stories.

More info

Manufacturing Chaos

A deep dive into the world of disinformation, exploring how and why it’s spreading at pace throughout the world, and the striking consequences for social cohesion and democracy.

More info

#Happy: The Dictatorship of Happiness on Social Media

We spend hours on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, seduced by their promise: to be able to share our life and our opinions with the whole world. But this irresistible quest for recognition can quickly turn into addiction, wreaking havoc on our mental health.

More info

Everything We Know About You

What can be done to minimise the risk posed by big data while maximising the benefits? This report investigates.

More info