Advertising watchdog removes sanctions against Viagogo

Advertising watchdog removes sanctions against Viagogo

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has withdrawn its referral of Viagogo to National Trading Standards after declaring itself "satisfied" by changes to "misleading" pricing information on the resale firm's website.

Following an investigation and previous upheld ruling, the ASA ruled that the secondary ticketing platform had continued to mislead consumers by not being upfront and clear about additional booking fees and delivery charges added at the end of the booking process. But it has now removed all active sanctions against the site.

"We have secured changes to the pricing information appearing on the website of secondary ticketing provider Viagogo, so that consumers aren’t misled," said an ASA statement. "As a result of our work, pricing information will now be made clear with one single price, containing both VAT and the compulsory booking fee, quoted upfront at the start of the consumer journey.

"We can confirm we are now satisfied that Viagogo’s pricing information follows the advertising rules. Consequently, due to the significant changes that have been made, we've removed all active sanctions we had in place, including withdrawing our referral of Viagogo to National Trading Standards [NTS]. 

"This outcome follows our ruling that Viagogo was misleading consumers by not being upfront and clear about additional booking fees and VAT that were added throughout the booking process. Since then, we've worked with Viagogo to bring about these material changes to its website."

MP Sharon Hodgson, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on ticket abuse, said: “It is extremely interesting, in light of all the developments over the last few weeks in the ticketing world, that ASA have now found Viagogo to be complaint with consumer protection regulations.

“It seems that being taken to the High Court by the CMA and seeing the writing on the wall with the winding up of Get Me In! and Seatwave is what was needed before Viagogo decide to play by the rules and fall in line with ASA guidelines. 

“So I suppose it’s better late than never, but what about all those victims of Viagogo that have been ripped off and misled in the meantime? Where is their justice?”

The decision has no bearing on the court proceedings recently launched against Viagogo by the Competition And Markets Authority.

Viagogo, which infamously no-showed last March's parliamentary hearing on ticket abuse, are due to finally face MPs tomorrow (September 5). Cristopher Miller, the firm's head of business development, has been called to an evidence session for the live music inquiry in Westminster.

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