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ASA clamps down on misleading ticket prices

27 February 2013

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today ruled against four theatre ticket providers for quoting misleading ticket prices on their websites.

We found that compulsory fees and charges were not being included up-front in ticket prices. This meant that fees charged on either a per ticket or per booking basis were only made clear later in the buying process.

In future we expect these to be advertised from the start. For example a £25 ticket with a £2.50 per ticket booking fee should be advertised as £27.50. The advertiser may include a breakdown of the cost. A booking fee charged on a per booking basis should be advertised, for example, as £25 + £2.50 fee per booking.

The rulings make clear that advertised prices for theatre tickets must include all compulsory fees and charges in quoted ticket prices and be more up-front about booking fees. This means that consumers will have all the information they need in the first instance to help them make an informed choice and to shop around should they wish to look for a better deal.

Our priority now is to make sure our rulings are followed by all ticket retailers so that all ticket prices are transparent, and consumers are not misled or treated unfairly.

Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, said: “These pricing practices are simply not fair. They draw us in on a false promise. They make us less likely to shop around for the best deal. Our rulings send a clear signal to advertisers: sort out your pricing so we all get a fair deal”.

Read the rulings:

AKA Group 
The Old Vic 
Charing Cross Theatre 
Ambassador Theatre Group

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