Ad Industry Associations Oppose ICANN’s Proposed Changes to Internet Domain Names

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is set to implement major changes in the sale and assignment of Internet Domain names. The changes, if adopted, would allow applicants to claim virtually any word, generic or branded, as a top-level internet domain name. Advertising industry associations, including the 4A’s and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), working together with other advertising and marketing groups, as well as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), have voiced strong opposition to new program of classification and sale of top-level domain names, a key to identifying and protecting brand recognition and value.

ICANN’s proposed plan allows an increase in the number of Internet address endings – the text on the right of the “dot” called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) - from the current 22, which includes familiar domains as .com, .org and .net. Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language – including the names of companies and products. ICANN expects to being accepting names under the program on January 12, 2012, and to close the application window three months later, on April 12, 2012.

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