Marketers Join To Oppose Domain Expansion
Dozens of major national and international business associations and companies have joined with the Association of National Advertisers to oppose a domain expansion program.
The Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight currently includes 87 members who oppose the rollout of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN’s) top-level domain expansion program.
The coalition is fighting ICANN’s proposed program, citing “deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and failure to act in the public interest, a core requirement of its commitment to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.”
The proposed program would permit applicants to claim virtually any word -- generic or branded -- as an Internet top-level domain. Top Level Domains are everything to the right of the dot, such as .com and .org.
In the first year, the ICANN plan would allow hundreds of new Top Level Domains, and thousands in the future. This would strongly pressure brand owners at every level of business -- including small businesses, consumers, NGOs, charities and foundations -- to defensively buy and protect top-level domains.
ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice said the coalition foresees “immense damage” to its constituents, consumers and the economy. If the ICANN program proceeds, the loss of trust in Internet transactions will be substantial. Both the for-profit and non-profit brand community will suffer from “billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures -- money that could be better invested in product improvements, capital expenditures and job creation.”
So far, 40 companies and 47 associations have joined the coalition and signed a petition that will be sent to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce that states their opposition to the proposed ICANN program. They include Allstate Insurance, American Express, Burger King, Coca-Cola, Dell, Fidelity Investments, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, JCPenney, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, MillerCoors, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and US Bank.
Members of CRID include Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Society of Association Executives, the National Restaurant Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).
The WFA represents a global network of 51 advertiser associations representing about 90% of global marketing communications spending, equivalent to $700 billion annually.