.ketchup

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Status: WITHDRAWN
Registry Provider: Neustar
Type: Generic
Category: Food & Drink
Priority #: 737 - Heinz (ProMark Brands Inc.)

.ketchup was a Brand TLD submitted and subsequently withdrawn from ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant was Heinz (ProMark Brands Inc.).[1] The applicant also withdrew its applications for .heinz; the withdrawals were made in time to receive a 70% refund of the $185,000 application fee.[2]

Application Details

The following is an excerpt of the applicant's response to question #18:

"ProMark Brands Inc. (“ProMark”), a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Company (“Heinz”), has filed this application for a .KETCHUP gTLD with the intention of bringing to market a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace for consumers to access content related to Heinz Tomato Ketchup worldwide.

Through a unified corporate approach, ProMark intends to submit two gTLD applications for the strings .HEINZ and .KETCHUP.

The intended future mission and purpose of the .KETCHUP gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates, to Heinz customers, consumers of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, and Internet users.

Heinz is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded foods to retail and foodservice channels. With approximately 35,000 employees worldwide, Heinz markets its brands in hundreds of countries around the world. Since the debut of Heinz Tomato Ketchup in 1876, Heinz has become synonymous with ketchup throughout the world. With global sales of 650 million bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup, as well as over 13 billion single-serve packets, it is by far the largest and fastest-selling product that Heinz has ever produced. Heinz Tomato Ketchup holds a number-one market share in the U.S., as well as in six more of the world’s top ten ketchup markets.

Heinz products, including and especially Heinz Tomato Ketchup, are sold under highly competitive conditions; competitors include both large and small businesses. Heinz regards its principal competition to be other manufacturers of prepared foods, including branded retail products, foodservice products, and private label products that compete with Heinz for consumer preference, distribution, shelf space, and merchandising support. The ability to operate .KETCHUP as a trusted namespace for consumers to access content related to its flagship product could be an important way for Heinz to differentiate itself and gain advantage as a digital innovator in such highly competitive conditions.

ProMark will be examining other .GENERIC gTLD applications, as well as general market adoption, to determine short- and long-term potential use case options for .KETCHUP to most effectively support Heinz’s online marketing strategy as a leading global food products company.

ProMark intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .KETCHUP gTLD to Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Heinz to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement is intended to exempt ProMark from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.

After Year 3, ProMark will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the .KETCHUP gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry through fee-based registrations to parties other than Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates.

..

ProMark currently intends for the .KETCHUP gTLD to be used exclusively by Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. Because of this condition, and because the Heinz Tomato Ketchup mark is a valuable brand, the protection of which is paramount to the company, ProMark intends to address registration and use requirements in its partner⁄affiliate agreements, rather than in domain name registration agreements.

ProMark will, of course, incorporate all required ICANN consensus policies and other legal⁄policy requirements imposed on new gTLD applicants into the terms and conditions of the domain name registration agreement that each qualified subsidiary or afiliate will execute."[3]

References