Archive for August, 2008
The recent scam on tickets for the Olympics reported here Slow start on scam sites, reminded me of one of the previous scams suffered by tourists buying tickets from overseas for the Sydney Opera House.
- A scam to bring the house down
- Opera victims duped by world wide web of fraud
- Court declares imitation Sydney Opera House website illegal
It never ceases to amaze me that such scams get away with it for so long. In the case of the Opera House, the fake site www.sydneyopera.org was mirroring the content of the legitimate Sydney Opera House site. However, not one member of the staff of the Opera House reported the site until the complaints rolled in from ripped off customers.
A significant brand like the Opera House spends a lot of time protecting its integrity and its value, whether in the media, sponsorships, promotion or even contesting in the Courts. Its value is the place it holds in consumer’s minds, their perception of its meaning and positioning. At the very least, the Opera House would want to protect its brand from brand sabotage courtesy of scams that disappoint and frustrate customers, let alone cause distrust of the main means of international distribution. Surely, there is also duty of care owed by the Opera House to consumers who have bought an international icon’s brand ‘promise’, whether from the official channel or a pretender?
Similarly, I find it inept that the Beijing Olympics were caught by surprise by scam sites. A major international event must expect such fraud now and actively manage this risk. The fact that such scam sites were up for a prolonged period on the public Internet AND cases had been reported and acted on in the US and UK, raises questions regarding responsibility. The Australian consumer watchdog was asleep, but the Beijing Olympics Organising Committee was also asleep. It would make sense that any such major event should be wary of such scams and be actively vigilant to protect the ‘brand’ and the customers. Afterall, they are only being loyal and being defrauded in the process.
It is worrying that the Fringe Festival management may have been warned 6 months previously that they may have problems with their new ticketing system. What is also remarkable is that the Fringe felt the need to develop a ticketing system from scratch when there are so many others available which are tried and tested and mature applications. Surely this debacle is a case study and testimony to avoiding the need to reinvent the wheel. Not surprisingly Pivotal Integration the suppliers of the Liquid Box Office system are keeping their heads low and are not even visible online. Always a warning bell when their business is online development. Maybe the Liquid Box Office system was selected after a long Liquid Lunch? MORE DETAILS>>
Upon better second-quarter results Live Nation has recovered and closed at $16.15 in New York trading on 6th August. This is up from November 2007 when the shares dropped to below $14.
“Despite the economy, our business achieved growth during the quarter in the number of concerts, ticket sales and the per fan revenue/spend,” said Michael Rapino, CEO Live Nation. MORE DETAILS >>