The British government has set out a new strategy to restrict rogue ticket sale practices. Speaking at a summit Wednesday (April 26) on the black market trade for entertainment tickets, Secretary of S

The British government has set out a new strategy to restrict rogue ticket sale practices.

Speaking at a summit Wednesday (April 26) on the black market trade for entertainment tickets, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport Tessa Jowell called on ticket agencies and music bodies to adopt a set of principles in what she described as "the first phase in the battle to stamp out ticket touting."

Jowell called on ticket agencies to limit the number of tickets that can be sold in a single transaction, create a blacklist of known, large-scale scalpers, establish a more effective returns policy, and ban the sale of "futures" -- tickets on sale that an individual does not actually possess or for an event that has not been formally scheduled.

She also called on secondary ticket agencies such as Internet auction sites to provide detailed information to potential buyers including the original price of the ticket, relevant terms and conditions, and the seat location.

The principles are to be tested by primary and secondary ticket agents over the next three months

Ticket scalping has become a hotly discussed topic in Britain in recent years. In January 2005, U.K. corporate watchdog the Office of Fair Trading recommended that the country's ticketing industry shake-up its services in light of a seven-month-long fact finding study it conducted into the ticket business.

The OFT report followed a document published in October 2003 by the Consumers Assn. in which it damned the whole ticketing industry.

The U.K. government's Department of Trade and Industry has been investigating the impact of unauthorized ticket sales following a campaign of complaints logged by the Concert Promoters Assn., SJM Promotions and the National Arenas Assn., among others.

The British government has no current plans to make touting illegal, however. It is currently looking to identify practical mechanisms that will make it less attractive for ticket touts to operate.

Jowell chaired the ticket touting strategy group summit in London on Wednesday (April 26), which gathered representatives from Ticketmaster, Ebay, National Arenas Association, Mean Fiddler, the All England Club and the Football Association. The group was established by the DCMS in November 2005 with the objective of establishing a sector-wide set of principles on how the business should operate. It will reconvene in July, when a final code of conduct will be drawn up.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print