Ticket Fees: Irish Advertising Standards Authority Rebukes MCD Productions

The Advertising Standards Authority Ireland
– The Advertising Standards Authority Ireland

An Irish customer complained about MCD Productions not displaying all ticket fees upfront, now the Advertising Standards Authority Ireland (ASAI) demands action from MCD.
According to the complaints bulletin on ASAI’s website, the tickets in question were advertized as “tickets €49.90 [$55.60] Incl. booking fee.”
The customer had complained, that the advertising was misleading. “He said the tickets were advertised at a price with the booking fee included, however tickets were not possible to buy at that price as there was an additional fee charged by the ticket booking agent,” the bulletin continues.
According to the ASAI, MCD Productions responded, “that they believed the additional charge that was incurred in this instance may have been a service charge. 
“They said that the booking fee was a percentage that Ticketmaster take off the promoter for each ticket and that in order to run their operations, Ticketmaster charge customers a Service Charge which was applicable after the ticket price.”
As MCD Productions also pointed out, that this information was clearly outlined on their website, which also linked to Ticketmaster’s U.S. website for further information about fees.
After considering both the complaint and MCD’s response, the ASAI complaint committee “noted that the advertisement had stated ‘including booking fee’ and considered that the lack of clear information that other charges applied was likely to mislead consumers that the tickets at the price quoted could be purchased for the price quoted.”
ASAI is an independent self-regulatory body set up and financed by the advertising industry to ensure that all commercial marketing communications are “legal, decent, honest and truthful.” For this purpose, it has set out rules in a code of conduct.
One of the code’s requirements is “that the amount of charges such as those arising from the method of purchase or payment should be stated in advertising.”
In the absence of this information, the complaint committee considered the advertisement to be in breach of certain sections of the code.
The conclusion on ASAI’s complaints bulletin reads: “The Complaints Committee told the advertisers to ensure that advertising contained clear information about the amounts of additional charges such as those arising from the method of purchase or payment.”
Pollstar has requested a comment from MCD Productions on whether it will take the required action going forward.