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Viagogo responds to calls for Google AdWords service to reject its resales
Under pressure from a UK Parliamentary enquiry and consumer groups, ticket reseller Viagogo has hit back at calls for Google to take action against the resale site as it continues to dominate ticket search rankings through paid advertising.
An open letter from All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse, campaign group FanFair Alliance and the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers (STAR), requested that Google should stop taking money from the controversial ticketing platform.
In response, a Viagogo spokesperson told Complete Music Update “it is legal to resell a ticket and all tickets on Viagogo are genuine. Viagogo is pleased to have reached resolution with the Advertising Standards Authority and welcomes the opportunity to do so with the Competition and Markets Authority through the legal process.
“We respect the courts and the legal process and look forward to resolving this with the CMA in the interests of consumers – not the commercial interests of music promoters and other competitors.”
The campaign against Viagogo’s paid advertising has received support throughout the music, theatre and sports sectors in the UK and internationally, and has also received cross-party political support in the UK Parliament.
The open letter states “Viagogo’s use of Google paid-for search to achieve prominence to consumers continues to concern all signatories to this letter, now more than ever.
“Working with the campaign group Victim of Viagogo, FanFair has helped many individuals who believe they were mis-sold tickets to claim back hundreds of thousands of pounds. The vast majority of these customers tell us they were led to Viagogo through Google search and unaware they were buying a resold ticket.”
Google may be violating its own guidelines, which stress that companies who buy prominence in search results via Google’s pay-per-click AdWords service must “comply with local laws”, according to the letter.
It cites the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s legal action brought against Viagogo last month for alleged breaches of consumer law.
Google promised to offer a “better and safer” platform after its new global transparency regulations on ticket resellers came into force earlier this year.
The New Zealand Commerce Commission is currently taking court action against Viagogo over its resale practices.
15th August 2018 - New Zealand Commerce Commission begins court action against Viagogo
8th August 2018 - New Zealand Rugby calls meeting to help fans tackle ticket resellers
5th June 2018 - FIFA makes criminal complaint against ticket reseller Viagogo
31st May 2018 - Viagogo faces UK investigation as Minister urges boycott
19th March 2018 - LPA launches video to help online ticket buyers avoid scams
8th February 2018 - Google to demand ticket resale site transparency
23rd January 2018 - Australian Open fans turned away after buying resale tickets
23rd November 2017 - Google updates AdWords policy to restrict online ticket scalpers
1st September 2017 - Google urged to block online resellers who dupe ticket buyers
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