Google is following through with its pledge to stop dodgy ticket reselling on its massive online advertising platform, AdWords.
After years of complaints from trade bodies, promoters and consumers about deceptive search results for show tickets, Google has implemented a new set of rules on how ticket resellers and scalpers advertise on AdWords.
The new rules, presented last November, means ticket brokers keen to advertise through AdWords must first get certified through a raft of measures and agree to a string of transparency requirements.
To meet Google’s new standards, an event ticket reseller can’t imply that they are a primary marketplace and, from now on, brokers must “prominently disclose” themselves as a ticket reseller or secondary marketplace.”
Also, resellers are required to disclose when prices are above face value and provide a total breakdown of the price, including fees and taxes, before checkout. And from next month, businesses will need to provide the face value of the tickets being sold in the same currency.
“This updated policy is a result of our own research,” explains Google senior director for trust and safety David Graff on the tech giant’s blog, adding, “we remain dedicated to ensuring that the ads our users see are helpful, relevant and trustworthy.”
Google updated its policies, Graff notes, after conducting its own research and gathering insights and feedback from users, advertisers, partners and third-party industry groups.
The new measures have been well received
“Google’s dramatic step in consumer protection is of major significance to The League’s membership,” comments Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, in a statement issued in recent days by Google. “We strongly support requiring brokers who advertise Broadway tickets on its platform to disclose when they are unaffiliated with an official box-office and itemize costs before collecting payment.”
Closer to home, the LPA has supported the tightened-up rules. “Some ticket resellers have been passing themselves off as the official ticket seller for shows and events through their manipulation of online search and advertising practices,” LPA CEO Evelyn Richardson told TIO following the announcement last year of Google’s plans. “Google’s indisputable influence in search and online advertising means these measures should make a real difference in addressing some of the problems associated with the secondary ticket market.”