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ANA 2011 Annual Conference Opens with Largest Attendance Ever

CEO Liodice Urges Marketers to Oppose ICANN's Top-level Domain Expansion Program

Phoenix, AZ - October 21, 2011 - The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) convened its 101st "Masters of Marketing" Annual Conference today. This year's event, themed Growth: Mastering Brands and Driving Results, is the ANA's largest ever, with 1,700 registered attendees. In his opening keynote, ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice identified a powerful array of industry initiatives that underscored the importance of the ten tenets of the ANA Marketers' Constitution. He also introduced—and urged attendees to sign—the 'First Amendment to the Constitution,' a statement avowing the industry's united opposition to ICANN's proposed top-level domain expansion program.

During his address, Liodice noted the growth and marketing impact of online behavioral advertising.  In response to that impact, the Digital Advertising Alliance has put in place a comprehensive self-regulatory program to give consumers choice regarding ad targeting based on their personal interests. He also championed the need for generally accepted brand valuation standards, common asset coding via Ad-ID, better campaign creativity and stronger accountability measures. The last of these is being addressed by the recently introduced Guiding Principles of Digital Measurement, a collaborative, cross-platform initiative of the ANA, 4As and IAB under the banner, Making Measurement Make Sense. Importantly, Liodice identified  efforts to overcome contentious issues surrounding procurement and agency search.

"This is an extraordinary time in the history of marketing," said Liodice. "On the one hand, there are immense opportunities to use technology in innovative ways to engage consumers. On the other hand, there are heightened threats of government restrictions that could curtail our marketing freedoms."

Liodice concluded his remarks by warning the marketing community about the ill-conceived plans by ICANN, the organization responsible for coordinating the technical management of the Internet's domain name system, to launch a new top-level domain expansion program in January of 2012.  "Marketers—backed by the full resources of the ANA—are vehemently opposed to this plan," he said, citing five reasons why it should be stopped now:

  1. Its justification is deeply flawed
  2. Its cost is excessive
  3. It will harm consumers
  4. It will harm businesses and damage brand equity
  5. ICANN failed to achieve stakeholder consensus

"The entire brand community must urge ICANN to reconsider and suspend this program before it causes irreparable damage," he implored.  "ANA's sister associations—the 4As, AAF, IAB, DMA, PMA and WFA—plus a rapidly growing list of other prestigious organizations, including the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the American Society of Association Executives, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, the American Insurance Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are jointly opposing this ill-conceived initiative.

The conference is being held at the J.W. Marriott in Phoenix, Arizona, through Sunday, October 23. 

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About the ANA
Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA's membership includes 400 companies with 10,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers. For more information, visit www.ana.net, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or visit our YouTube channel.

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