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Campaigners respond to ASA ruling on Viagogo

By | Published on Thursday 31 May 2018


Those who have been most prolifically campaigning against ticket touting have responded to the news that champion rule breaker Viagogo has failed to meet the demands of the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA confirmed earlier this week that, despite saying it would, Viagogo has not started publishing the total costs of tickets for sale on its platform upfront on the first screen. Extra costs like delivery, VAT and Viagogo’s significant booking fees are all added later in the transaction process. The often controversial ticket resale site also continues to use words like “official” and “guarantee” in confusing ways.

Having confirmed that Viagogo had failed to meet the demands it made back in March by last weekend’s deadline, the ASA has now said it is reporting the secondary ticketing firm to National Trading Standards. Meanwhile, it is planning its own sanctions against the rogue company, which might mean that Viagogo can no longer advertise on platforms like Google. The ASA will also run its own ads outlining its issues with the ticketing platform.

Commenting on the latest developments, Adam Webb, Campaign Manager for the anti-touting FanFair Alliance, said: “This is yet another step towards forcing the biggest ticket resale sites to follow UK consumer law and stop their misleading marketing practices”.

Anticipating how the ASA’s new action could have a tangible impact, he went on: “We’ll need some time to assess the full impact of today’s ASA announcement – but perhaps the most positive result for fans would be if Google and other search engines exhibited corporate responsibility and stopped taking Viagogo’s advertising spend. Cutting them off from search would dramatically transform this market, and help audiences locate face value tickets from authorised sellers”.

Meanwhile MP Sharon Hodgson, who has been campaigning against ticket touting for years, including via the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse that she chairs, told reporters: “It is not surprising that Viagogo have been found to be breaking UK advertising rules. Time and time again we have heard of Viagogo misleading and ripping off genuine fans, yet no real action has been taken against them”.

She added: “I welcome the ASA ruling, but hope that finally Viagogo will get the comeuppance they deserve after years of breaking the law. As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Ticket Abuse, I will continue to put pressure on the government to ensure this parasitical market plays totally by the rules”.