The debate about secondary-ticketing website Viagogo continues in the UK, where anti-touting campaigners have published an open letter to Google asking it to crack down on the company’s search advertisements. The letter cites research by the FanFair Alliance suggesting that Viagogo regularly tops Google search results for tickets, with its paid advertising strategy a key component of this. “In effect, one of the world’s most trusted brands – Google – is being paid to actively promote one of the least trusted,” claimed the letter, which was signed by FanFair campaign manager Adam Webb, Sharon Hodgson MP (who’s chair of the UK’s all-parliamentary group on ticket abuse) and Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers boss Jonathan Brown, and countersigned by representatives from industry bodies including UK Music, the Music Managers Forum, Featured Artists Coalition, and the Association of Independent Festivals. “We understand that Viagogo is a valuable client to Google, spending considerable sums each year on paid search advertising. However, we urge you to protect consumers who daily put their trust in Google, and act now to restrict Viagogo’s ability to pay for prominence.”

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