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Viagogo sent to the naughty step

Secondary ticketing website Viagogo has its knuckles rapped by the UK Advertising Standards Authority for misleading advertising

By Jamie Raybould on 29 May 2018

ASA chief executive Guy Parker

image © ASA

Secondary ticketing website Viagogo, based in Geneva, has been placed in the non-compliant online advertisers section of the ASA website for failing to clearly state all fees for tickets upfront.

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) received 23 complaints about the company, some of which originate from the campaign group FanFair Alliance and promoters Festival Republic and Kilimanjaro Live. Complaints referenced an advertisement which they did not believe made clear the additional fees and charges that customers would have to pay to receive tickets.

The complainants also took issue with the company’s use of the word ‘official’ in the adverts, as this, they thought, would mean people would think the company to be a primary ticket seller rather than a reseller.

The company’s use of the claim ‘100% guarantee’ in its advert for Ed Sheeran tour tickets also garnered complaints when it came to fruition that no customers with tickets bought from secondary sellers would be permitted into the concert. Because of the wording of the claim, it led people to believe that there was a 100% guarantee that they would be permitted into the concert.

“We welcome the clarification on all-in pricing, as it will help fans make accurate comparisons”

The company has already failed to send representation to a hearing on ticket abuse, and when questioned about it threatened to call the police on two MPs.

To read the full ASA ruling on Viagogo, click here.

Viagogo was the only one of the ‘big four’ secondary ticketing sites – the other three being StubHub, Seatwave and Get Me In! – not to fall into line after the ASA’s recent clampdown on drip pricing.

Wayne Grierson, StubHub’s UK country manager, says: “StubHub is a fan first company and we want to ensure that we deliver the right experience and transparency for the customer. This is why we welcome the clarification on all-in pricing, as it will help fans make accurate comparisons.

“We hope this experience will be consistent across all ticket websites, regardless of whether a fan is buying primary or resale tickets.”


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