I take this issue very seriously, and I know that the hon. Lady has done fantastic work on it over the years. Ticketing website advertisements must comply with the Advertising Standards Authority code, and those using advertising facilities attached to search engines must also comply with their terms of service to prevent misleading ads and to protect consumers. I am in touch with internet service providers, and they assure me that they are prepared to take action where necessary.
I thank the Minister for her work on this issue and her support for my work on it. According to research by the FanFair Alliance in a study carried out earlier this year, Viagogo was in the top two results on Google in 80 out of 100 searches. Time and again, victims of Viagogo tell me that they have been directed to Viagogo by a Google search. Does the Minister think it is appropriate that Viagogo is still able to buy itself to the top of the Google search rankings while it is facing court action by the Competition and Markets Authority?
The hon. Lady makes a good point. Viagogo is the subject of legal action by the CMA. However, she might be interested to know that the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that consumers would not assume that Viagogo was the primary ticketing agent for an event, and that there was therefore nothing in the ad to claim that it was the primary—[Interruption.] If you will permit me, Mr Speaker, I will just say that Google’s conditions state that resellers must prominently disclose themselves as resellers. The hon. Lady can therefore draw her own conclusions from that—
Does the Minister accept, however, that Google is accepting ads through Viagogo agents that are in breach of consumer protection law and of Google’s own terms of service, and that it is effectively taking money through being party to a fraud by allowing those ads to run?
I absolutely sympathise with my hon. Friend’s point of view. I have had discussions with Google on this very point. I think it is safe to say that we have a difference of view, but I remain optimistic that the search engines will comply with their own terms and conditions in the end.