Collapsed mini-bond provider London Capital and Finance saw more than £20m-worth of promotions appear on Google before it went under and was investigated by the FCA, a report in the Times claims.
LC&F contracted digital marketing firm Surge Group to help raise investor funds, the Times says, which targeted the search engine giant in a £20m advertising push, according to the paper.
The Times quotes a source close to the situation as saying Surge received 25 per cent commission on the roughly £237m it raised from investors on behalf of LC&F, having spent around £26m doing so.
Some 90 per cent of the marketing budget went towards Google advertising.
Other LC&F marketing initiatives included sponsoring the Osborne Horse Trials in Cowes.
Last week, Money Marketing reported increasing investor frustration over their wait for compensation from LC&F losses.
Investors claim that the firm used terms such as “secured bond” in its marketing literature, giving the impression of security.
Promoting mini-bonds is not a regulated activity, so the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has said some investors may not be entitled to claim on the lifeboat fund.
However, an administrators report from the end of March says that liquidators are still looking into the possibility that some LC&F representatives did in fact give advice, which means some claims could be covered.