FanFair Alliance has warned "more needs to be done" by Google to tackle ticket touting after the web giant's global certification process for ticket resellers went live.
The company announced last November that it was updating its policy so that ticket resellers will need to be certified by Google before they can advertise through its AdWords online advertising service.
To be certified by Google, an event ticket reseller must not imply that they are a primary marketplace; prominently disclose themselves as a ticket reseller/secondary marketplace; prominently disclose that prices may be above face value; provide the total and breakup of the price across fees and taxes before requiring payment information and, from March, prominently provide the face value of the tickets being sold in the same currency.
The measures came into force on Wednesday (February 7). However, while welcoming the web giant's intervention, FanFair believes they do not gone far enough.
“FanFair welcomes Google’s proactive involvement to bring further transparency to the ticket resale market," said a spokesperson for the anti-touting campaign group. "The rollout of a global certification system for ticket resellers is a big step forward and already achieving positive impacts, with the largest secondary platforms now providing clearer disclosure on their own websites about the true nature of their business.
“However, more needs to be done, and especially in one crucial area. In their online advertising, the largest resale sites still fail to make clear that they are secondary platforms, listing secondhand tickets. Given their continued prominence on search pages, the implication remains that these are authorised primary sellers or ‘official sites’. That is simply not the case. Until their ad messaging is amended, we suspect UK ticket buyers will continue to be misled.
“This is something we look forward to discussing with Google and will urge them to act upon. Unless secondary ticketing sites are forced to ‘be honest’, the full consumer benefits of certification are unlikely to be achieved.”