The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) along with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies have come down with a statement that basically asks ICANN to can the idea of new domain extension.
According to a letter written by the ANA, the idea of allowing anyone to create their own domain extention, could intrudce “confusion into the marketplace and increasing the likelihood of cybersquatting and other malicious conduct.” The letter claims that allowing people to register their own extention, such as .Pace or .Pepsi would in lead to people registering domains of well known brands and somehow use it deceive consumers.
Similarly, the head of the IAB, Randall Rothenberg claims that, “there appears to have been no economic impact research, no full and open stakeholder discussions, and little concern for the delicate balance of the Internet ecosystem, This could be disastrous for the media brand owners we represent and the brand owners with which they work.”
ICANN nicely responded with a resounding “WTF are you talking about” in a letter stating that “ Multiple public meetings and at least 45 lengthy public comment periods were conducted and thousands of comments, representing a broad range of interests, were received.” The letter also points out that there is nothing to be worried about from brands, because there is a process in place that would allow trademarks to be protected and owners of the trademarks to contest any application that would violate that trademark.
The letter also points out that part of the system would be the “ Establishment of a Trademark Clearinghouse as an information repository performing specific information collection and data validation services.”
I have to wonder if the IAB did any research of its own before issuing that letter? The benefit to advertisers and marketers would be amazing – one of the reasons that the proposal of allowing anyone to create their own domain extension would be to allow brands to better promote themselves, with domain extensions that match their brand. Pepsi will be able to have .pepsi, and perhaps if lucky, someone will buy .affiliate.
What are your thoughts on this matter?