Responding to demands from consumer groups and primary ticketers, like Ticketmaster, Google has vowed to provide a “better and safer” platform for users after its new global transparency regulations on ticket resellers came into force. But some believe that the tech giant is not going far enough to end ticketing fraud and deception.
Google announced in November last year that it was updating its policy so that ticket resellers will need to be certified by Google before they can advertise through its AdWords online advertising service, “to protect customers from scams and prevent potential confusion”. The new measures come into effect on February 7..
To be certified by Google, an event ticket reseller must not imply that they are a primary marketplace; prominently disclose themselves as a ticket reseller/secondary marketplace; prominently disclose that prices may be above face value; provide the total and breakup of the price across fees and taxes before requiring payment information and, from March, prominently provide the face value of the tickets being sold in the same currency.
"top taking advertisements from secondary ticketing companies found to be operating “in breach of the law”
Google spokesperson Elijah Lawal said: “We constantly review our policies to ensure we are providing good experiences for consumers. When people use our platform to purchase tickets, we need to make sure that they have an experience they can trust. We think that event ticket resellers that agree to these new transparency requirements will provide a better and safer user experience on our platform.”
In an interview with Music Week last year, Kilimanjaro Live boss Stuart Galbraith called on Google to stop taking advertisements from secondary ticketing companies found to be operating “in breach of the law”.
The recent AudienceNet/Music Ally Ticked Off report highlighted that a significant proportion of would-be ticket buyers use Google to find tickets, while research by anti-touting pressure group FanFair Alliance has illustrated how all the main secondary ticketing platforms employ paid search to dominate Google rankings.