ANTI-TICKET touting campaign group FanFair Alliance (FFA) has won a ruling with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) against secondary ticketing site StubHub UK.
FFA raised a complaint with the ASA last November regarding a StubHub UK advert which used the claim “guaranteed genuine tickets”.
It argued that the term was misleading because, as a third-party reseller, StubHub UK was unable to guarantee that the tickets listed on its website were genuine.
StubHub UK responded that consumers would understand “genuine” to mean that tickets were not fake or fraudulent, but would not assume that they were definitely valid for entry.
However, the ASA agreed that they’d breached the Misleading Advertising clause.
The ruling comes amid controversy surrounding Viagogo’s acquisition of StubHub for a reported $4.05 billion. At the beginning of the year, the two companies were forbidden from merging by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), while it continued its preliminary inquiry.
“Though this ruling is fairly minor compared to the previous ASA cases which have had a tangible effect on how secondary sites were presenting information to consumers, we’re flagging all these things in the context of the CMA’s merger investigation,” says FFA campaign manager Adam Webb.
“Part of the problem with the secondary sites is that they’re presenting themselves as semi-legitimate sources for tickets. The fact that they don’t disclose that they’re a secondary ticketing site means they don’t represent themselves honestly.
“They can’t keep misrepresenting what they are and the UK is really driving forward on this. It’s the CMA’s initial enforcement order that’s holding the whole merger up.”
StubHub has now removed the ad and has been instructed by the ASA to avoid using the claim “guaranteed genuine tickets” where there was a risk that buyers might not be able to gain entry into an event.