The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld two complaints made by FanFair Alliance, against two viagogo advertorials published in the NME.
The first advertorial, which ran on nme.com on June 15, 2023 was headed “The best gigs to see this summer at Hyde Park,” listing tickets for the mega event, which had Blackpink, Bruce Springsteen, P!nk, Guns N’ Roses, Lana Del Ray, and more on last year’s lineup. The second advertorial from July 13, ran under “A beginners guide to getting Taylor Swift ‘Eras’ tour tickets. How to avoid the scammers and secure tickets.”
The UK’s FanFair Alliance had challenged whether both ads were misleading, as it “understood the resale of tickets through secondary ticketing websites like viagogo was prohibited by the events listed in the ads.”
ASA has now concurred, forcing viagogo to make amendments to both NME advertorials, which have been updated since to include the following statement: “Resale of tickets is prohibited for this event. Please note your ticket may be invalid for entry to the event. You will be protected by viagogo’s guarantee if you attempt entry and are refused. That’s their promise – enjoy the event.”
The first viagogo advertorial on NME can be found here, the second one here. Details of the ASA ruling can be found on the ASA website. FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb commented, “This is an important ruling by the ASA, which highlights how websites like viagogo continue to mislead consumers and mis-sell them touted tickets. British audiences deserve greater protection from these rip-off merchants. It is high time the UK followed the example of countries like Ireland and France and outlawed their parasitical practices.”
A statement provided to the media by a viagogo spokesperson says, “We are disappointed by the Advertising Standards Authority ruling. viagogo is a safe, secure and regulated global online marketplace, and we are fully compliant with the law in all markets in which we operate.
“Ticket fraud is extremely uncommon on our marketplace as less than 0.02% of ticket holders encounter an issue at the door. In any event, the viagogo guarantee is in place to protect fans and ensure those who have purchased tickets on our platform get in the door or their money back.
“We exist to get fans into live events and oppose anti-consumer actions taken by event organisers to restrict purchasing and resale options in an attempt to control the market. These measures ultimately harm fans by limiting choice, flexibility, and access.”