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Live Performance Australia seeks answers from Google as Viagogo advertising returns

Live Performance Australia seeks answers from Google as Viagogo advertising returns
December 4, 2019

With Viagogo appearing to once again be advertising on Google, Live Performance Australia has sought urgent clarification from the search engine giant about the terms by which the controversial reseller has been allowed to resume promoting its online ticket resales.

In July, Google announced that Viagogo had been suspended from its Ad Words platform worldwide after ruling the controversial ticket resale site was in breach of its advertising regulations.

However, while neither business has made a public announcement on the apparent reversal of this decision, Viagogo advertisements have again appeared during searches over recent days.

Live Performance Australia (LPA) Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said Google owed Australian consumers, artists, producers, promoters and venue operators a full explanation of its decision to allow Viagogo to resume advertising.

Richardson advised “our industry has been calling out Viagogo for its misleading practices for some time now, and it has also been subject to Federal Court action by the ACCC.

“In April this year, the Federal Court found that Viagogo had made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public when reselling entertainment, music and live sport event tickets. And, yet, only months later it is back in action on Google.

“I have today written to Google’s Australia and New Zealand managing director, Melanie Silva, seeking an urgent clarification of the commitments that have been given by Viagogo around its business practices and how these conform with the standards Google expects of its advertisers.

“We have also sought her assurance that consumers who commence their ticket purchase journey through Google can expect the full protections afforded by Australian Consumer Law.

“Australia’s live performance industry wants some answers from Google on its turnaround."

Noting comments from leading industry figures that the problem of invalid tickets being presented at venues had fallen off since Viagogo was stopped from advertising on Google, Richardson added "consumers beware. Viagogo has form, and we have grave concerns about its business practices.”

Richardson said consumers who purchased through resale platforms should be aware of their rights under consumer law and utilise credit card chargebacks to claim refunds for tickets that were not provided, or rejected at venues.

The reappearance of the advertisements would appear to result from the United Kingdom's Competition and Market Authority (CMA) being satisfied that, after a series of changes, the controversial reseller is now compliant with UK law.

Last week, the Switzerland registered business advised that it was buying rival StubHub in a US$4 billion deal - the biggest ever transaction in the secondary ticketing market.

In Europe, anti-scalping campaign group FanFair Alliance has formally called on the CMA to conduct an investigation into the acquisition.

Related Articles

3rd December 2019 - LPA reports live performance industry drives cultural economy but growth rate slowing

25th November 2019 - Viagogo acquires rival ticket reseller StubHub in US$4 billion deal

13th October 2019 - Adelaide Festival Centre executive fights back against online ticket scalpers and reseller sites

8th October 2019 - Google ban sees decline in Viagogo business activity

4th October 2019 - Court decision allows New Zealand Commerce Commission to continue Viagogo legal action

20th July 2019 - eBay undertaking strategic review of StubHub ticket resale marketplace

19th July 2019 - Live Performance Australia applauds Google decision to ban Viagogo

17th July 2019 - Google suspends Viagogo from paid-for global search results

1st July 2019 - Viagogo claims desire to meet with New Zealand’s Commerce Commission

18th April 2019 - Federal Court finds Viagogo guilty of misleading consumers

5th April 2019 - Viagogo executives lobby Federal MPs against ticket resale restrictions

20th March 2019 - UK MPs call for Viagogo boycott and changes to ticket scalping laws

12th March 2019 - Viagogo blamed as 200 refused entry to Dunedin concert

11th February 2019 - Concert promoter Michael Chugg says Viagogo is ‘out of control ... f**king thieves’

6th February 2019 - Commerce Commission describes Viagogo as a ‘marketplace for scalpers and fraudsters’ in Auckland High Court

8th December 2018 - Viagogo agrees to UK competition authority demands on ticket resales

8th August 2017 - LPA releases guide to help consumers avoid ticketing scams

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