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DMA Calls on ICANN to Abandon Top-Level Domain Program
September 14, 2011 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today announced its strong opposition to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) top-level domain naming program, stating that the plan will cause irreparable harm to both brand owners and consumers.
The ICANN program, intended to begin in January 2012, will permit applicants to claim virtually any word, generic or branded, as an Internet top-level domain. Top-level domain names appear to the right of the dot in Internet addresses, e.g., the “com” in “.com”.
In order to protect their intellectual property, businesses would need to purchase these Internet addresses at the exorbitant fee of $185,000, and then invest additional resources in surveillance and legal defense to protect their brand’s integrity against cyber squatters and bad-faith domain registrations. In addition, consumers would be at higher risk from phishing and other forms of online fraud.
“DMA is extremely concerned about the program that ICANN has put forth,” said Larry Kimmel, DMA’s president and CEO. “We fail to see the value of this program to our members. In fact, we foresee it costing them excessive time and money. We hope ICANN will back away from this program and the headaches it will cause, not only to our members, but the overall business community as well.”
DMA’s strong criticism is part of a growing industry-wide concern regarding the ICANN program. In addition to DMA, The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), American Advertising Federation (AAF), American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’S) World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) have joined the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in vehemently opposing the ICANN program.
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About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the world’s largest global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 48 other nations, including half of the Fortune 100 companies.
In 2010, marketers — commercial and nonprofit — spent $153.3 billion on direct marketing, which accounted for 54.2 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.8 trillion in incremental sales. In 2010, direct marketing accounted for 8.3 percent of total US gross domestic product. Also, in 2010 there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.8 million US jobs.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.
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