UK’s independent advertising regulator has concluded that BBC and Ticketmaster misled public over King’s coronation tickets with a misinforming text about how to get coronation concert tickets.

Last week, the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) tasked with ensuring adverts across UK media stick to the rules and codes, said it had told both the BBC and Ticketmaster to “ensure that future marketing communications did not misleadingly imply that consumers had been allocated tickets if that was not the case.”

ASA also told them to ensure that future marketing communications did not omit relevant material information that tickets would be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

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The star-studded gig which celebrated the coronation of King Charles III at Windsor Castle on May 7 featured Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Take That. The concert was organized by BBC Studios, with tickets allocated by Ticketmaster.

The promotional texts on both BBC and Ticketmaster’s websites included a paragraph that followed as: “The 10,000 tickets were not allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so there was as much chance of being selected if an application was made on the 10 February 2023 as on the 28th February 2023”.

However, UK consumers who were informed that they won tickets to the Coronation concert through a ballot process run by the ticketing giant found out the event was actually sold out as tickets in the supplementary around actually were being offered on a first-come first-served basis.

Multiple reports indicated that the communication from the ticketing giant was, at best, confusing and misleading. Recipients were first informed that they had been successful in the ballot, and then directed to purchasing via a link with a button “How to claim your tickets now.” But when they tried to purchase the tickets on Ticketmaster, they came across with a message, reading: “Tickets are currently unavailable from Ticketmaster. We’re unable to find tickets right now, please try again later.”

The ASA received 98 complaints from members of the public who were unable to claim tickets for the event.

A BBC spokesman said: “Although there was never any intention to mislead, we accept the ASA’s ruling.”

He informed that following two fully compliant ballots, a small number of unclaimed tickets had been offered on a first come first served basis to unsuccessful ballot entrants.

“We also reiterate our apology for a poorly worded email, which implied applicants had already won tickets for The Coronation Concert,” he added. “We have taken steps to ensure neither situation is repeated and can confirm that no successful ballot entrant from the first two rounds was denied the opportunity to attend the event.”

Ticketmaster hasn’t made a statement regarding the issue, yet.

Last Updated on August 1, 2023