The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has referred Viagogo to National Trading Standards for its failure to make changes to "misleading" pricing information on its website.
Following an investigation and previous upheld ruling, the ASA has ruled that the controversial secondary ticketing site has 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.
Swiss-headquarted Viagogo failed to meet yesterday's (May 29) deadline set by the ASA to make the necessary changes to its website.
ASA CEO Guy Parker, said: "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. 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.”
The ASA's compliance team will also implement concurrent sanctions - including working with Google on non-compliant Viagogo pay-per-click advertising, and issuing its own pay-per-click advertising to highlight Viagogo's non-compliance.
FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb said: "This is yet another step towards forcing the biggest ticket resale sites to follow UK consumer law and stop their misleading marketing practices. We'll need some time to assess the full impact of today's ASA announcement - but perhaps the most positive result for fans would be if Google and other search engines exhibited corporate responsibility and stopped taking Viagogo's advertising spend. Cutting them off from search would dramatically transform this market, and help audiences locate face value tickets from authorised sellers."
MP Sharon Hodgson, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on ticket abuse, said: “It is not surprising that Viagogo have been found to be breaking UK advertising rules. Time and time again we have heard of Viagogo misleading and ripping off genuine fans, yet no real action has been taken against them.
“I welcome the ASA ruling, but hope that finally Viagogo will get the comeuppance they deserve after years of breaking the law.
"As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on ticket abuse, I will continue to put pressure on the government to ensure this parasitical market plays totally by the rules.”
Viagogo infamously no-showed a select committee hearing on ticket abuse in March last year, claiming it lacked "adequate representation" in the UK to be able to assist the committee with its enquiries. The CMA (Competition And Markets Authority) has also previously singled out the firm for not currently having agreed to ensure better information will be provided about tickets being resold through their platforms.