RESALE SITE Viagogo has been referred to National Trading Standards (NTS) by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after failing to meet a deadline to improve the transparency of its ticket pricing.
The Switzerland-based secondary platform had been given until 29 May to clean-up its act regarding deceptive pricing information that includes VAT, additional booking and delivery charges, and claims such as “official site” and “100% Guaranteed”, but has failed to do so.
Others of the Big Four – eBay-owned StubHub and Ticketmaster-owned Get Me In and Seatwave – have complied with the ASA ruling, having been notified in March.
“Viagogo was given clear warning and handed the opportunity to play fair with consumers by removing misleading pricing information from its website; its failure to do so means it will now face the consequences,” says ASA chief executive Guy Parker.
“Where an advertiser or business is unwilling or unable to follow the advertising rules, we will act. In light of Viagogo’s inability to get its house in order, we’re referring it to National Trading Standards to consider appropriate action.”
NTS has a range of statutory sanctions at its disposal, which can include prosecution and fines.
“We have now launched an investigation into Viagogo, which will look at all legal options to bring them into compliance with the law,” says an NTS spokeswoman.
As well as adding Viagogo to its list of non-compliant advertisers, the ASA is working with Google to remove the resale site from advertising listings and is placing ASA ads on the search engine to alert the public about non-complaint advertisers.
The ASA received 23 complaints about Viagogo, including from campaign group FanFair Alliance and promoters Festival Republic and Kilimanjaro Live.