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It’s All in the Name

Icann is one of the most unpopular organisations with website owners who feel that a gun is often pointing at their heads when it comes to domain names, but will a new CEO make any difference.

Any member of any decent digital marketing agency will be able to tell you that domain names are the vital ingredient in any website and companies struggle to get the url right. But the new round of suffixes means that all established names have a very expensive headache on their hands.

To protect their brand, image and future expansion, companies are literally being forced to buy up all available permutations of their names together with the new suffixes. It is said that Amazon has had to fork out over $50 million in such an exercise. For successful and profitable companies, this might be just another expense to keep ahead in a very competitive marketplace, but for those companies already struggling, Icann’s way of extracting money is very unwelcome indeed.

But things are unlikely to change with the appointment of a new CEO, as Fadi Chehade prepares to take over the reins from Rod Beckstrom and convince the market place that Icann (which by the way stands for  Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is something other than a latter day Dick Turpin.

Beckstrom has been in-post since 2009 and has borne the brunt of criticism from webmasters.

The real trouble started when Icann invited applications for new domains which will greatly boost the number of new suffixes available. Now companies have the option of using their company, or brand name as the suffix.

This is a major step forward and one which allows the true expansion of the internet, but it’s coming at a cost, obviously one not explained properly by previous management.

Around 90 major companies got together in the US to petition the Department of Commerce, saying that the way Icann was handling the affair would cause “…excessive cost and harm to brand owners…” and what’s more, the “…likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers…”.

Mr Chehade has already defended his new organisation’s position, telling Associated Press that: “Anything new like this is going to create angst and controversy, and it’s going to create opportunity.”

In other words, don’t expect much change, from the new CEO! There might be some sympathy, but Icann can in reality call all the shots; it has a mandate to manage the process and charge what it feels appropriate, and that’s unlikely to change over the coming years, new CEO, or not.

The impression that it is extorting ridiculous amounts of money for what is in reality a simple process, is going to stick around for some time and companies know that they are going to have to fork out a load of money, if they want to protect their online positions.

It’s as simple as that.

About the Author:

Biljana Dimovska, Cayenne Red.

Biljana Dimovska is a member of digital marketing agency Cayenne Red. She is a regular contributor to the media on how companies market themselves in the digital age.

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