Viagogo Ads On Google Not Misleading, Rules UK Advertising Standards Authority
The website states: “We’re the world’s largest secondary marketplace for tickets to live events.”

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has come to the conclusion that Viagogo’s ads, which usually appear on top of Google’s ticket search results, aren’t misleading customers into believing they’re buying from a primary source. The FanFair Alliance has appealed the ruling.
ASA had received three complaints in total earlier this year, stating Viagogo was misleading customers by not making it clear that it was a secondary ticketing website. 
Viagogo responded to the complaints, explaining why it did not think, customers would be misled by its advertizing. The company argued that it never left any doubt about the nature of its business. 
In other words: because Viagogo did not operate both primary and secondary ticketing websites, the brand has been consistently associated with the secondary ticketing market since its inception in 2006.
Viagogo pointed to customers’ wealth of choice when it came to the question of where to purchase tickets, and provided the analogy of searching for flights online, where consumers were presented with primary outlets, i.e. the airline’s website, third party agents or comparison sites.
“In such cases, there was no requirement to state in the initial ad what type of website the link would send you to,” the company argued.
Lastly, Google ads were limited in space, which made it difficult to include  detailed descriptions. Viagogo pointed out, that its website made it clear  at the top of the page that it was a secondary ticketing website, a fact that was reinforced by the way tickets were displayed on the website.
A Viagogo statement reads: “We have been working closely with the ASA and are pleased to have reached resolution. We remain committed to providing clear information to our customers. All tickets on viagogo are genuine and backed by our guarantee.”
After taking Viagogo’s response to the complaints into account the authority reached the following conclusion: 
“The ASA understood that the online ticketing market comprised a range of retailer types including primary sellers, ticket agents and secondary ticketing websites.
“There was also overlap between the activities of those sites; for example some sites sold both primary and capped resale tickets and another provided guarantees through a primary website to offset any concerns consumers might have about buying a ticket second hand.
“In that context, we did not consider that consumers would assume that the ad was for a primary ticketing website and did not consider it to be misleading for the ad to omit what type of seller they were.
“We considered, however, that sites should avoid actively making overt misleading claims, for example by suggesting they were primary ticket sellers when they were not one to ensure that consumers looking specifically for primary ticketing sites were not misled.
“We noted, in this case, that the ad did not feature any claims or other content that suggested viagogo was a primary ticketing website. We therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead consumers.”
FanFair Alliance, the UK’s campaign group against the practice of secondary ticketing and one of the three aforementioned complainants, has appealed the ASA ruling.
Last month, FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb co-signed an open letter to Google demanding action is taken about Viagogo’s search advertising. The other signees were Sharon Hodgson MP, chair of the UK’‚ All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, and Jonathan Brown, chief executive of the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR).
According to the open letter, the vast majority of customers don’t realize they’re buying a resold ticket. 
The alliance also mentions research conducted among 1,158 UK respondents in 2017, 43 percent of whom said, Google was the first port of call to search for tickets, and 52 percent of whom said, they had difficulties distinguishing between authorized primary ticket sellers and unauthorized secondary sites. 
“We are struggling to make sense of this decision. It defies all evidence and favours a controversial and potentially law-breaking Swiss website over the interests of British consumers,” said Webb.
He added, “an ASA stamp of approval flies in the face of everything we know about Viagogo, and implies that the site and it’s marketing practices meet the regulator’s standard of being ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful.’ We have already sent an appeal to the ASA’s Independent Reviewer urging that this ruling is overturned.”
Hodgson said, “this statement from ASA is one step backwards at a time when we should be moving forwards with stronger enforcement for the sake of fans across the country.”
Brown said, it was “disappointing that the ASA has ignored the experiences of ticket buyers, as well as the many concerns raised by regulators, politicians and the industry over Viagogo’s practices.”
Viagogo is currently being taken to court by the UK’s Competition And Markets Authority (CMA), and is facing similar action in several other countries, including Italy, Spain, Germany, and Austria.