Proposals to expand the number of domain names available for internet addresses will burden brands with huge financial costs without providing any search or marketing benefit, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has claimed.
In June, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body which oversees the internet’s naming structure, approved a plan to allow an increase in the number of Internet address endings - called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) - from the current 22, which includes such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net.
Under their new proposals, ICANN will allow any number of suffixes, such as .London, .car, .book or even enable companies to suffix their internet address with their brand name.
Applications for the new domain names will open on 12 January next year. Applicants will have to undergo a number of background checks and pay a $185,000 (USD) registration fee.
ICANN claims that introducing a potentially limitless number of domain names will give “…organisations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.” However, Chris Combemale, executive director of the DMA UK, said that the creation of new internet real estate will come at a cost to businesses that could outweigh any potential benefits.
“Creating a tranche of new internet domain names will be extremely costly to businesses. As well as the associated costs of registering new domain names and spending money to attract customers to multiple domains, businesses face the legal and financial headache of having to contend with cybersquatters grabbing specific domains.
“Customised domain names won’t offer brands any enhanced marketing possibilities because consumers can easily search for specific information with the current domain name system.”
Combemale adds: “Companies are already hard pressed to find cost savings in these tough trading times; adding a further financial burden that won’t reap any commercial benefits cannot be justified.”
The DMA UK will respond formally to ICANN with a request to revise or withdraw its new rules.
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