Google has added another rule to ensure users don’t get misled or scammed, this time, when they want to buy event tickets through third-party resellers advertising through AdWords.
Ticket resellers and resale marketplaces are those that resell tickets which they bought from primary vendors, such as the event venue or organizer at their own prices.
In order for them to be able to advertise using AdWords,Google is instituting those businesses a certification process. This certification review typically takes about a week after the reseller submits a completed application.
Google also requires all secondary websites that sell tickets on AdWords, to make clear that they are second hand tickets sellers. This by carrying a disclaimer at the top of their webpage, saying that they aren't the primary sellers.
According to Google spokesperson Jennifer Kaiser, the company felt it needed to do more to protect consumers.
This is because secondary ticketing websites have attracted controversy over the last few years, and they have been accused of misleading people by saying they are official sellers, over-charging them, or even selling tickets that are invalid if they are re-sold.
Qualified advertisers must:
- Not imply that they are a primary marketplace.
- Prominently disclose themselves as a ticket reseller/secondary marketplace.
- Prominently disclose that prices may be above face value.
- Provide the total and breakout of the price across fees and taxes before requiring payment information.
- Prominently provide the face value of the tickets being sold in the same currency.
The requirements focus primarily on providing proper disclosure of pricing and fee structures on the advertisers websites. So here, there shouldn't be any consumer-facing changes to the way ads from resellers are presented.
"Unfortunately, some ticket resellers provide limited transparency in their ads about ticket costs and fees, as well as their association with a specific venue or event," wrote David Graff, senior director, trust & safety, global product policy, in a blog post. "Lack of transparency can erode trust in the online ticket ecosystem and makes it harder for legitimate businesses to reach customers."
The attempt was first announced back in November 2017, when Google notified resellers of the change and certification requirements, and again in December. But the restriction goes into affect globally starting February 7, 2018.
Initially, four large resale websites that include They are Get Me In, Viagogo, StubHub and Seatwave, have made the changes Google demanded.
"We felt like we needed to do more to make sure the advertising of secondary ticketing is clear on our platform." said Kaiser. "At the end of the day, secondary ticketing is completely lawful and it's a consumer right to resell your ticket if you want to. If the government wants to push for further rules we would certainly comply with those rules."