StubHub ad banned for claims of genuine tickets

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert for ticket reseller StubHub UK seen in 2019, which promised "Guaranteed genuine tickets".

The advert in question was seen on a train, and read: "That knee slide along the platform moment... Guaranteed genuine tickets to the match can do that", featuring a celebrating woman in front of StubHub's logo.

This was disputed by campaign group FanFair Alliance who said third-party reseller StubHub was unable to guarantee that tickets sold were genuine.

Stubhub defended its use of language, saying people would understand "genuine" tickets to mean not fake or fraudulent, but not assume that they were definitely valid for entry. It also said seller fraud rate was under 0.1% and all orders were backed by their ‘FanProtect Guarantee’, giving them confidence in their claim to sell genuine tickets.

However the regulator sided with the complainant, finding that the ad breached CAP Code rule 3.1, against misleading advertising. StubHub had, in fact, already withdrawn the ad, which the ASA welcomed.

"Because the claim 'Guaranteed genuine tickets' suggested that consumers who bought StubHub tickets would be guaranteed to gain entry into their chosen match, when that was not the case, we concluded that the claim was misleading," said the ASA's statement. "We told StubHub (UK) Ltd not to use the claim 'Guaranteed genuine tickets' where there was a risk that buyers might not be able to gain entry into an event."

A spokesperson from StubHub said: “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.”