Google have been urged to halt their relationship with ticket resellers Viagogo, with a campaign citing Google’s advertising as the reason for their prominence.
Over the last few years, plenty has been said in regards to secondary ticket service Viagogo. While Aussie musicians The Rubens explained that the company “exist(s) to rip you off”, Viagogo has managed to keep on thriving, despite an almost wholly negative view of what they do.
But if you’ve been wondering why an almost universally-disliked company manages to remain popular, the answer (according to a group of campaigners) is simple; Google.
As NME reports, an open letter has been sent to Google executives urging the company to sever advertising ties with Viagogo, explaining that paid advertising is the reason for Viagogo’s continued existence.
“Viagogo’s use of Google paid-for search to achieve prominence to consumers continues to concern all signatories to this letter, now more than ever,” the letter explains.
“Working with the campaign group Victim of Viagogo, FanFair has helped many individuals who believe they were mis-sold tickets to claim back hundreds of thousands of pounds,” it continues. “The vast majority of these customers tell us they were led to Viagogo through Google search and unaware they were buying a resold ticket.”
The UK-based letter – which was written by members of which include the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse, campaign group FanFair Alliance, and the Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers (STAR) – comes just days after it was revealed that Viagogo is moving away from the United Kingdom in order to focus their efforts in the US market.
— Alexander Holley (@holleyalex) September 10, 2018
“It is an untenable situation,” the letter continues. “In effect, one of the world’s most trusted brands – Google – is being paid to actively promote one of the least trusted.”
“Viagogo’s search advertising is also, we believe, breaking Google’s own AdWords guidelines.”
“We understand that Viagogo is a valuable client to Google, spending considerable sums each year on paid search advertising,” it concludes. “However, we urge you to protect consumers who daily put their trust in Google, and act now to restrict Viagogo’s ability to pay for prominence.”
While the open letter has received support from a number of prominent groups, it remains to be seen whether or not Google will take action against the service.