Google has suspended Viagogo from using its search engine marketing adwords platform to reach consumers, multiple outlets are reporting. The action follows a lengthy lobbying campaign by music industry insiders against the Switzerland-based ticket marketplace, which vowed to resolve any concerns which led to the suspension swiftly.
“When people use our platform for help in purchasing tickets, we want to make sure they have an experience they can trust,” Google said in a statement Wednesday. “This is why we have strict policies and take necessary action when we find an advertiser in breach.”
Viagogo expressed surprise at the decision to suspend its paid search campaigns, as the company had successfully undergone Google’s certification process for ticket resale operators when those went live in early 2018. It is unclear how the company is no longer in compliance with Google’s requirements.
“We were extremely surprised to learn of Google’s concerns today,” a Viagogo statement reads. “We are confident that there has been no breach of Google’s policies and look forward to working with them to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
Industry insiders, who have long targeted Viagogo with blistering criticism, celebrated the news of the suspension. “We are delighted Google has finally acted and suspended Viagogo’s advertising,” said a spokesperson from Fan Fair Alliance – an anti-resale lobbying group backed by music-industry insiders with interests in the competing Twickets marketplace – said. “We now hope other platforms, particularly Facebook, can follow its example.”
The Face-Value European Alliance for Ticketing – another promoter-backed lobbying group against free-market resale – lauded the suspension as “a hugely significant step” due to the fact that “Google is the first port of call for fans searching for gig tickets across the world.”
In FEAT’s statement, it pointed out that FanFair Alliance, Spain’s Association of Music Promoters and France live music industry association PRODISS have been directly engaged with Google pushing for a ban on Viagogo since 2016.
TicketNews will continue to monitor this ongoing story as it develops.