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87 Major Assns. and Businesses Join with ANA to Form Coalition to Oppose ICANN’s TLD Expansion Program

New York, NY - November 10, 2011 - Eighty-seven major national and international business associations and companies have joined forces with the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), forming the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) to oppose the rollout of ICANN's top-level domain expansion program. Among the many influential members of CRIDO are the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Society of Association Executives, the National Restaurant Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the American Council of Life Insurers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).  The WFA represents a global network of 51 advertiser associations representing some 90 percent of global marketing communications spending, equivalent to $700 billion annually.

On behalf of its many constituencies and industries, CRIDO is committed to aggressively fighting ICANN's proposed program, citing its deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and failure to act in the public interest, a core requirement of its commitment to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The proposed ICANN program would permit applicants to claim virtually any word, generic or branded, as an Internet top-level domain.  Top Level Domains are everything to the right of the dot, such as .com and .org.  In the first year alone, the ICANN plan would allow hundreds of new Top Level Domains, and thousands in the future. This would strongly pressure brand owners at every level of business including small businesses, consumers, NGOs, charities and foundations to defensively buy and protect new top level domains.

"This unprecedented, united opposition to ICANN's top-level domain expansion program clearly demonstrates the enormity of the dissatisfaction across the Internet stakeholder community," said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA. "The major global industries represented by CRIDO foresee immense damage to their constituents, consumers and the economy. We implore ICANN to discontinue its efforts to roll out this ill-conceived, unwanted and destructive program."

If the ICANN program proceeds, CRIDO firmly believes, the loss of trust in Internet transactions will be substantial. In addition, the for profit and non-profit brand community will suffer from billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures - money that could be better invested in product improvements, capital expenditures and job creation.

"The World Federation of Advertisers and its members strongly urge ICANN to abandon its top-level domain program in its current form and proceed in a manner that suitably acknowledges the legitimate interests of client-side marketers and brand owners across the globe," said Stephan Loerke, Managing Director, WFA.  WFA's members represent advertising associations in all regions of the world, including the Association of Canadian Advertisers, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, the Russian Association of Advertisers, the Advertisers Association of Turkey, the Indian Society of Advertisers, the Japan Advertisers Association and the China Association of National Advertisers.

At the recent ANA Masters of Marketing Annual Conference, attended by more than 1,700 marketers, Liodice announced that the Association's Board voted unanimously to fight ICANN's top-level domain expansion program. He also urged attendees to rally support from additional trade associations in their industry sectors, creating a massive groundswell of opposition to ICANN's program before it causes irreparable damage. At the meeting, several hundred attendees signed petitions personally opposing ICANN's proposal. The petitions will be circulated at upcoming conferences and events to garner support from even more members.

 To date, the following 47 associations have joined CRIDO and signed a petition that will be sent to the DOC that publicly states their opposition to the proposed ICANN program:

 

 To date, the following 40 companies have joined CRIDO and signed a petition that will be sent to the DOC that publicly states their opposition to the proposed ICANN program:

 

 

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 http://www.ana.net/, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or visit our YouTube channel.

About CRIDO

The Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) represents eighty-seven influential national and international trade associations and companies, including all the members of the World Federation of Advertisers that have joined together to oppose the roll-out of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) program to expand Internet top-level domain names. CRIDO members, representing some 90 percent of global marketing communications spending (equivalent to $700 billion annually), cite the proposal's deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and lack of stakeholder consensus, a core requirement of its commitment to the U.S. Department of Commerce. For more information, visit http://www.crido.org/

 

Press Contacts

 

Luna Newton, CooperKatz & Company for the ANA

lnewton@cooperkatz.com or 917.595.3061

 

Jamie Bezozo, CooperKatz & Company for the ANA

jbezozo@cooperkatz.com or 917.595.3032

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