ANA Proposes Constructive Way to Resolve Concerns About ICANN's Top-Level Domain Expansion Program

 Key Steps Include:

  • Opening Application Period, as Planned
  • Assembling Constituencies to Work with ICANN on Solutions
  • Establishing Temporary 'Do Not Sell' List for Brands to Register without Cost

January 9, 2012 - New York, NY - The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) today proposed to the ICANN Board a constructive way to address critical concerns associated with ICANN's top-level domain (TLD) expansion program.

In a detailed letter to Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, ICANN's Chairman of the Board, and his fellow Board Members, ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice articulated "The Proposed Way Forward," which includes the following steps:

  • ICANN will proceed with its plan to begin accepting applications for new TLDs on January 12, as scheduled.
  • Concurrently, all NGOs, IGOs and commercial stakeholders concerned about protecting their brands will be given the opportunity to have those brands registered, without cost, on a temporary "Do Not Sell" list to be maintained by ICANN during the first application round.
  • ANA will assemble a team from the interested constituencies to work with ICANN leadership during the first application round to develop proposals for addressing deficiencies that have been identified in ICANN's program. If this group achieves consensus with respect to any proposals, those proposals will be voted on by the ICANN Board.
  • At the end of the first application round, should the parties continue to disagree, the temporary "Do-Not-Sell" list will sunset, and all parties will be free to pursue their legal and equitable rights without prejudice.

"This is an eminently reasonable and simple proposal," said Liodice, whose organization has assembled and continues to build the diverse, global industry coalition opposing the rollout of ICANN's TLD expansion program, CRIDO, which currently comprises more than 160 members. "It reflects the serious concerns publicly expressed by numerous constituencies - concerns that were most recently acknowledged in a January 3, 2012 letter to ICANN by Lawrence E. Strickling, Department of Commerce (DOC) Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Within the DOC, NTIA administers the contract that requires ICANN to be in compliance with its Affirmation of Commitments obligations to operate in the public interest."

Liodice continued, "Destructive and costly litigation can hopefully be avoided if ICANN accepts this proposal and if all parties work together in good faith during the first application period to develop practical and reliable solutions to the challenges that have been repeatedly raised." With the application period set to begin on January 12, 2012, the ANA letter requests a response from ICANN within two days.

In addition to the proposed solution, the ANA letter lays out a timeline from November 2011 to the present during which more than 25 major public statements have been made and significant events have transpired, all underscoring the breadth and depth of opposition to ICANN's top-level domain program. These include hearings by Committees of the U.S. House and Senate, letters from federal policymakers, statements by prominent Internet community leaders and security experts, and letters from U.S. and international NGOs, IGOs and business organizations. "Never before has ICANN faced this level of public scrutiny," said Liodice.  "We hope ICANN will accept this simple, temporary solution to address the serious concerns expressed by so many constituencies."

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, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, or visit our YouTube channel.

Press Contacts
Luna Newton, CooperKatz & Company for the ANA or 917.595.3061

Jamie Bezozo, CooperKatz & Company for the ANA or 917.595.3032