Google suspends Viagogo from advertising

Google suspends Viagogo from advertising

The FanFair Alliance has hailed a "landmark moment" after Google suspended controversial resale site Viagogo from its paid-for search rankings. 

Last year, a coalition of anti-ticket abuse campaigners sent an open letter to the web giant, demanding action on Viagogo's ability to dominate ticket searches through paid advertising

Google has now taken action after finding the Swiss-headquartered company in breach of its advertising policy. 

"This is a landmark moment, and a major step forward to preventing exploitation of audiences in the secondary ticketing market," said FanFair Alliance campaign manager Adam Webb. "After publishing extensive research highlighting the impacts of Viagogo's misleading search advertising, FanFair Alliance has been in constructive conversations with Google for over two years in an attempt to address this issue. 

"We are delighted they have finally acted and suspended Viagogo's advertising. We now hope other platforms, particularly Facebook, can follow Google's example."  

Google vowed to provide a "better and safer" platform for users after its new global transparency regulations on ticket resellers came into force last year. 

Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT) director Sam Shemtob added: “This is a hugely significant step – Google is the first port of call for fans searching for gig tickets across the world.  

“The move appears to have been triggered by recent court proceedings led by the UK’s Competition And Markets Authority as well as pressure from the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee. 

“It’s worth noting the work of the UK’s FanFair Alliance, Spain’s Association of Music Promoters and French live music industry association PRODISS, who have been engaged in multiple conversations on the issue with Google, some of which date back to 2016. We hope other search engines and social media platforms will follow suit.”

Earlier this month, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was proceeding with contempt of court action against Viagogo following concerns it has failed to comply fully with a court order.

Viagogo is yet to comment on Google's move, but boss Cris Miller recently broke his silence to apologise to MPs over the company's failures to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Committee.

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