The UK’s advertising watchdog has ordered StubHub to refrain from using the phrase “guaranteed genuine ticket” on adverts following a complaint from anti-touting campaign group FanFair Alliance.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld the complaint based on the principal that consumers would feel “certain to receive valid tickets that would arrive on time and allow them to gain entry into the relevant match.”

FanFair’s complaint was about a poster with a headline “that knee slide along the platform moment”, which featured smaller text underneath stating, “guaranteed genuine tickets to the match can do that”.

ASA said: “We understood that the claim was intended by StubHub to refer to a guarantee that buyers would receive valid tickets for the event or a comparable replacement ticket or refund.”

StubHub, which took the ad down following the complaint, responded by stating: “Every marketplace order is protected by the FanProtect Guarantee, meaning that in those rare instances something goes wrong with a transaction, fans will receive a comparable or better replacement ticket or their money back. StubHub’s customers should have peace of mind purchasing from our marketplace.”

While the ASA said it recognised the protection and refund guarantee, it noted that this information had not been presented in the advert.

The watchdog concluded that the ad must not appear again in the form complained of and the “guarantee genuine tickets” claim must not be used again.

Yesterday (Wednesday), it was revealed that StubHub furloughed up to two-thirds of its North American employees due to the Covid-19 crisis. A source close to the matter told TheTicketingBusiness.com that the furloughed workforce had been asked to take an unpaid leave of absence until June 1, at which point the measure could be extended.

Image: Ajay Suresh