Notorious ticket resale site Viagogo has been suspended from advertising by Google. The site has received several complaints about misleading ticket prices, as well as facing a possible prosecution in May 2018 for failing to change this information.
Now, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are taking the website to court, alleging it has not done enough to change its business practice, despite many warnings in the past.
An open letter was sent to senior executives at Google, which was signed by the Football Association, UK Music and some MPs. The letter appealed to Google to stop Viagogo from advertising, which has now been heard, as Viagogo are currently suspended from advertising on the platform.
“When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure that they have an experience they can trust.”
“This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach.”
Viagogo responded to Google’s decision, claiming to be “surprised” by the suspension as well as insisting that it did not breach the company’s policy.
“We were surprised to learn of Google’s concerns today.” it said. “We are confident that there has been no breach of Google’s policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
Legal action was made against Viagogo last year by the CMA over concerns it was breaking consumer-protection law. The courts ordered the site to change its business practice, including telling buyers which specific seats they would get and if there was a risk of them being turned away at the door.
However, the CMA claim that the site has continuously ignored demands to implement these changes and now plans to take legal action once again for contempt of court.
It has been alleged that Viagogo is still doing the following: giving misleading ticket-availability messages, incomplete addresses of businesses selling tickets and insufficient warning tickets with resale restricts that may not allow entry.
Music industry campaign group, FanFair Alliance, said it was “delighted” in Google’s decision to suspend Viagogo from advertising.
“We are delighted Google has finally acted and suspended Viagogo’s advertising. We now hope other platforms, particularly Facebook, can follow its example.”
If Viagogo are found to be in contempt of court, it could face a serious fine. Though, it’s surprising to see that the site is still up and running despite all the bad press and legal action made against it. But if anything, it still makes ticket buyers well aware to stay clear of it completely.
Story by Emily Clark
Featured Photo Credit: EventIndustryNews