Online ticket tout adverts breach guidelines, say MPs

live music

MPs have criticised Google for allowing secondary ticketing sites like Viagogo to advertise with them, saying it is ‘a clear breach of their guidelines’.

The search engine currently has a Viagogo advert in place when gig-goers search for Ed Sheeran tickets, despite the promoters warning that tickets sold through unofficial vendors may not be valid.

MP Nigel Adams told The Sun Online that the use of the word ‘official’ on ads such as these are ‘designed to mislead customers’.

He said: ‘Hundreds of people have mistakenly assumed they are buying at face value from a legitimate source.

‘A responsible company should be questioning the way in which sites like Viagogo present themselves on their search engines.’

Damian Collins, chair of the commons culture, media and sport committee said that MPs have been told of many websites which sell invalid tickets that customers are unable to redeem.

‘This throws up an important issue for Google – they are making money out of this process,’ he said. ‘They must act against ticket touts, it’s a clear breach of their guidelines.’

According to Google’s advertising policies, it doesn’t ‘allow the promotion of products or services that are designed to enable dishonest behaviour’.

The search engine said on Friday (18 August) that Viagogo does not break any of its rules.

The MP comments follow the news that FanFair Alliance has teamed up with the Victim of Viagogo Facebook group to publish an online help guide for customers seeking refunds from secondary ticketing sites.