Google says secondary ticket sites are not breaking its advertising rules, after UK MPs urged the search engine to ban resellers from promoting themselves as official vendors.
Viagogo was mentioned as one company that is in “clear breach of [Google’s guidelines”. However, Google told The Sun Online news website that the site does not break any of its rules.
According to The Sun Online, the search engine currently has a Viagogo advert in place when gig-goers search for Ed Sheeran tickets, despite the promoters warning that tickets sold through unofficial vendors may not be valid.
MP Nigel Adams said that the use of the word “official” on ads such as these are “designed to mislead customers”.
“Hundreds of people have mistakenly assumed they are buying at face value from a legitimate source,” Adams said. “A responsible company should be questioning the way in which sites like Viagogo present themselves on their search engines.”
According to Google’s advertising policies, it does not “allow the promotion of products or services that are designed to enable dishonest behaviour”.
Viagogo is already under investigation by the Irish Advertising Standards Authority for potentially overstepping advertising rules through its ticket promotions on Google.
Damian Collins, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee said: “This throws up an important issue for Google – they are making money out of this process. They must act against ticket touts, it’s a clear breach of their guidelines.”