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Ticket tout repping group launches code of practice

By | Published on Monday 18 June 2018

Fair Ticketing Alliance

The Fair Ticketing Alliance – the recently launch lobbying group that aims to speak up for ticket touts – or what it would call ‘ticket brokers’ – last week launched a new code of practice which it says it hopes will “build greater trust with live entertainment and music fans and help raise the ethical standards of the secondary ticketing sector”.

The FTA says that its code of practice goes beyond even the recently ramped up rules governing the resale of tickets for profit in the UK.

Among other things, it says that FTA-allied resellers must adhere to the most recent secondary ticketing requirements set out by the UK’s Competition And Markets Authority and must therefore avoid any resale platforms that are not themselves compliant, which mainly means Viagogo. Other commitments include refraining from reselling tickets to events where proceeds go to charity.

The FTA wants to tackle some of the shadier tactics employed by some ticket resellers in return for safe-guarding and beefing up the right to resell tickets in the first place. Although UK law currently allows the resell of tickets for profit, if a promoter explicitly forbids resale in its terms and conditions, touted tickets can be cancelled. Which is something some promoters are starting to do much more prolifically.

Launching his organisation’s code of practice on Friday, Fair Ticketing Association Chairman Stephen Lee said: “We strongly believe there is a rightful place for secondary ticketing within the whole ticketing eco-system”.

“The secondary market is thriving as consumers value the choice, convenience and guarantees that it offers, which are simply not available in the primary market”, he went on. “But we know we have to behave responsibly to build consumer trust in our businesses, weed out any bad apples and generate repeat custom from fans”.

He continued: “We’re music lovers as much as anyone else. We just want to provide a great service to other live entertainment fans and do the right thing by them. That’s why we have produced our industry-leading code of practice, which goes above and beyond what is required by law”.

While the FTA is seeking to address some of the specific criticism that has been levelled against ticket resellers in recent years, the FanFair Alliance – which has led the campaign against touting of late – reckons that questions remain about the new pro-resale organisation and its members.

FanFair’s Adam Webb told CMU: “While it’s telling that even ticket touts are taking a stand against Viagogo, I think some fairly fundamental questions need to be asked about the Fair Ticketing Alliance. Such as, who are its members? How do they lawfully obtain large volumes of tickets? And what would the consumer benefits be in giving these businesses a ‘right’ to resell?”

You can read the FTA’s code of practice here.