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Irish advertising regulator to investigate Viagogo’s use of the word ‘official’

By | Published on Monday 17 July 2017


The Irish Advertising Standards Authority is assessing whether Viagogo – the least apologetic of the ticket tout ticklers – has breached advertising rules with the way it promotes its ticket sales on Google.

As previously reported, last week UK-based anti-touting campaign FanFair noted how the secondary ticketing sites, and especially Viagogo, buy Google ads so that links to their tickets appear at the top of the list when people search for a gig. This despite the fact tickets are still often available cheaper from primary sites, rather than from a tout via a resale platform.

Campaigners argue that this confuses the average gig-goer, who don’t necessarily understand the difference between bought and organic listings on the Google search engine, and who will likely assume that the top listing is the official – ie artist approved – source for tickets.

It doesn’t help that Viagogo uses the word “official” in its Google ads, seemingly justifying doing so by saying that the link goes through to the ‘official’ Viagogo website. But consumers will likely assume that billing means that Viagogo is an official seller of the tickets being sought, when in fact tickets bought via the resale platform are often so unofficial that the promoter of the show might cancel them.

According to The Times, the use of the word ‘official’ by Viagogo on its Google ads is one of the things the Advertising Standards Authority For Ireland is investigating.