Many venues sell tickets directly and some use resellers to help, making it easy to get the seats you want. 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. Lack of transparency can erode trust in the online ticket ecosystem and makes it harder for legitimate businesses to reach customers.
We only want companies that offer a great user experience on our platform. Effective today, we are tightening our standards and will require all event ticket resellers to be certified and to radically increase their transparency. This will give users more clarity on the vendor reselling the tickets and the total cost of those tickets, including any associated fees.
To be certified by Google, an event ticket reseller 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 breakup 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 (this will be required starting in March 2018)
This updated policy is a result of our own research as well as the insights and feedback we gathered from users, advertisers, partners and third-party industry groups. To allow advertisers time to prepare for this change, we issued a change to our AdWords policy page in November 2017.
According to Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, “Google’s dramatic step in consumer protection is of major significance to The League’s membership. 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.”
Transparency, trust and safety for our users will always be top priorities for Google. We remain dedicated to ensuring that the ads our users see are helpful, relevant and trustworthy.