Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Google bans paid Viagogo advertisements from search listings

Google suspends Viagogo from advertising Google suspends advertising from controversial ticket website Viagogo
Russell Knight | 18 July, 2019, 14:02

Ticket reseller Viagogo is facing fresh regulatory pressure from the UK's Competition and Market Authority after being ordered to "overhaul" its business practices by mid-January as part of a raft of measures created to squeeze out ticket touts and enhance consumer rights.

A string of other complaints included misleading claims it made that it was an official ticket vendor, for the non-delivery of tickets paid for, the inability for consumers to get a refund, labelling tickets as "limited" or "about to sell out" and not guaranteeing consumers would receive valid tickets to events.

In a statement, Google said: "When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust".

Google says it's found Viagogo in breach of its advertising policy.

Despite this, Viagogo's paid activity on Google meant it regularly appeared at the top of search results, ahead of authorised ticket sellers.

Fans have reportedly paid hundreds more than the standard ticket prices, in part because Viagogo's website only reveals booking fees, delivery charges, and Value-Added Tax prices at the last stage of the booking process.

This is in the face of ongoing criticism that the secondary site is allowing touts to exploit buyers by charging highly inflated prices for sought-after tickets.

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Google have today announced that they'll be indefinitely suspending ticketing service Viagogo from advertising with them.

In a statement, Viagogo told the ABC it was "extremely surprised" by Google's decision.

The dressing-down of the ticketing firm by the House of Commons committee came as part of a review into the future of the UK's live music industry, which it said was "facing stark challenges".

The organisation's campaign manager, Adam Webb, said: "This is a landmark moment, and a major step forward to preventing exploitation of audiences in the secondary ticketing market".

Claire Turnham, awarded an MBE for her work in securing refunds for consumers who bought tickets from Viagogo, said she was "ecstatic".

Dodgy ticketing website Viagogo has finally been banned from advertising through Google. "But I am now pleased that this step has been taken, which will protect consumers and fans".

"A well respected brand, such as Google, should have done this a long time ago".

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