Update (as of March 27, 2020): A spokesperson for StubHub released the following statement regarding the ASA order:
“StubHub is a fan-first ticket marketplace, providing an opportunity for fans to sell tickets they’re no longer able to use and buy tickets for events they want to go and see. 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.”
StubHub will no longer be able to use the phrase “guaranteed genuine ticket” on adverts.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered StubHub to refrain from using the phrase after receiving a complaint from the anti-touting campaign group FanFair Alliance. The campaign group referred to a poster from StubHub with a headline that read “that knee slide along the platform moment” with smaller text underneath stating, “guaranteed genuine tickets to the match can do that.”
ASA upheld the complaint, noting that consumers would feel “certain to receive valid tickets that would arrive on time and allow them to gain entry into the relevant match” after viewing that phrase.
“We understand 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,” ASA said of the complaint.
The UK watchdog also said the ad should not appear again and the “guarantee genuine tickets” should not be used in the future.
StubHub has since taken down the ad.
“Every marketplace order is protected by the FanProtect Guarantee, meaning that in those rare instances something goes wrong with the transaction, fans will receive a comparable or better replacement ticket or their money back,” StubHub said in a statement. “StubHub’s customers should have peace of mind purchasing from our marketplace.”
Earlier this week, StubHub furloughed up to two-thirds of its North American employees amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The ticketing site is among the top ticketers that have been hit hard by the virus.