The move comes after the ASA said Viagogo promised on 23 March 2018 to “make compulsory fees sufficiently clear by 26 May 2018”. The ticket retailer appears to have failed to do so however, with the ad industry watchdog noting: “Nevertheless the website www.viagogo.co.uk continues to include pricing information that is in breach of the CAP Code and the ASA’s ruling.”
The ASA has now referred Viagogo to National Trading Standards (NTS), who have now launched an investigation that could result in potential fines and legal action.
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 adverts subject to the search engine block will be those advertising specific tickets, adverts for the brand itself will not be blocked however the ASA is to pin its own adverts to Viagogo’s in an attempt to warn consumers.
Ministers have also taken it upon themselves to speak out against the ticket retailer with Digital Minister Margot James telling BBC Radio 5 Live listeners if they had to use a secondary ticket retailer, “don’t choose Viagogo, they are the worst”.
Retail Sector has reached out to Viagogo for comment.