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U.K. Agency Calls Out Viagogo

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LONDON (CelebrityAccess) Viagogo has been placed in the non-compliant online advertisers section on the website for the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority.

There have been 23 complaints to the ASA about the secondary ticketing company, some originating from campaign group FanFair Alliance and promoters Festival Republic and Kilimanjaro Live, according to IQ magazine. Complaints reference an advertisement that the complainants thought was confusing and didn’t make clear the additional fees and charges at checkout. Complainants also disliked Viagogo’s use of the term “official” in advertisements, according to IQ.

From the actual ASA report:

1. Fanfair and most other complainants, who believed ad (a) did not make sufficiently clear the additional ticket fees and charges that consumers were required to pay to order tickets, challenged whether the presentation of the pricing information in ad (a) was misleading.

2. Fanfair, Festival Republic, Kilimanjaro Live and several other complainants challenged whether the claim “Official” in ad (b) misleadingly implied that viagogo was a primary ticket outlet rather than a second-hand ticket website.

3. One complainant, who understood that Ed Sheeran tickets not purchased through official ticket partners would not be accepted, challenged whether the claim “100% guarantee” in ad (b) was misleading.

In the case of Sheeran, the complainant thought the 100 percent guarantee meant the tickets bought through Viagogo would allow the patron into the venue but, according to the ASA, “it was not possible to guarantee that all customers who purchased tickets would be able to successfully gain entry to the event.”

The company recently failed to have a representative at a governmental hearing on ticket abuse and, when questioned about why the company was ignoring official government correspondence, threatened to call the police on two MPs, according to The Guardian. The two MP s had showed up at the company’s doorstep with one calling it a “shifty, slippery and secretive” company.

It is also the only one of the “big four” secondary ticketing sites to not comply with the ASA’s recent clampdown on drip pricing (the other three being StubHub, Seatwave and Get Me In!).

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