|Industry:||Nonprofit Organization Management|
|Founded:||June 24, 1910|
|Headquarters:||708 Third Avenue - 33rd Floor|
New York, NY 10017
|Garry Elliot, Chairman|
The Association of National Advertisers Inc. is the oldest non-profit trade organization representing the American marketing and advertising community. It offers marketing, consulting and brand building services to its members. Initially built by 45 companies, ANA now consists of more than 400 leading marketing and advertising companies, working with over 10,000 brands. The services provided by the association include legislative leadership, information resources, professional development, business insights and networking opportunities. It has also taken the responsibility of organizing regional meetings and management forums. It also offers sponsorship for marketing agencies, consultants, media companies, and PR firms.
ANA & ICANN
Some members of ANA, including HP, P&G, General Motors, Wal-Mart, Adobe, Porsche, Vodafone and Puma are strongly opposing the new gTLD program proposed by ICANN. It is assumed that the opposition of HP and P&G is not due to the reasons they are stating but due the fact that they cannot apply for .hp or .pg because ICANN has a restriction on two letter TLDs for brand names.
ANA says the new program will be a total disaster for the international business community. Through this program anyone would be able to request a new TLD with potentially any word. ANA has written numerous letters to ICANN Chairman (Steve Crocker), ICANN CEO (Rod Beckstrom), and US government officials overseeing ICANN's authority, which is granted by the Department of Commerce and its National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to review the new gTLD program once again because they believe it will create irreversible harm to the international business community. Not all ANA members are opposed to the new gTLD program, and one member, Canon, has already declared their intent to apply, those opposed have demanded that ICANN sort the perceived problems out with ANA board members.
ANA started a campaign to educate others about the perceived flaws in the current TLD program. However, Jim Prendergast, a participant in ICANN policy development, states that the issues raised by ANA are baseless. He says that business advocates have worked with ICANN throughout the development of the policy. Furthermore, ICANN believes this program will help prevent cybersquatting and fraud rather than increase it.
They believe that the current program must be abandoned wholesale, and that ICANN should then come back to the table with ANA present.
ANA had nearly non-existent participation during the years that ICANN spent creating the gTLD program, though they were aware of it. Some have argued that the sudden campaign against new TLDs and ICANN is a belated attempt to save face with its members for its lack of participation in creating the program. Responding to a letter sent in October, 2011, Rod Beckstrom pointed out that a number of suggestions that ANA had made during a 2008 comments session were incorporated into the current version of the program.
ANA has also taken issue with ICANN's conflict of interest policies and ethics policies, which is another hot topic in ICANN circles as of late 2011. They requested a review and report on these policies.
87 companies from ANA have created a group and have named it the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight - CRIDO. The main focus of this group is to fight ICANN's new gTLD program, though the group was formed in November, 2011, well after the May, 2011 approval of the program. Given that ICANN had been developing a new gTLD program through its multi-stakeholder model essentially from the organization's very beginnings, it was dramatic timing for large corporations to come out against the deal just months before applications were to be accepted. Details of this group's activities can be found on its official website. Some major companies are members of CRIDO, including Coca Cola, Burger King, Kellog, Samsung, HP, P&G and Dell. The complete list of supporting companies can be seen here.
After the initial membership of CRIDO was announced, other major companies continued to join; the list now notably includes: Wal-Mart, Kraft Foods, Adidas, Reebok, Toyota and the J.M. Smucker Company. Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer and Kraft Foods the world's second largest food distributor.
CRIDO has vowed that it will continue to fight the new gTLD Program even after the Application submission window opens in January, 2012. Some expect a lawsuit to be filed by CRIDO against ICANN.
Issues with the gTLD Program
ANA has made the following arguments concerning ICANN's new gTLD program:
- It will introduce confusion into the marketplace, thereby increasing cybersquatting and malicious activity
- It will create brand dilution
- There is a lack of material gain for businesses, and it does not create competition and innovation
- It is lacking support from large portions of the business and related communities
- Adds unnecessary cost and concerns to a fragile economy; diverting resources from job creation and capital investment
- It will contravene the rights of brand owners
By not addressing these issues, ANA has argued that ICANN is not working in the public interest, which is its mandate. As is, ANA believes that ICANN is effectively cornering brand owners in, whereby they must either pay high costs to run a TLD or risk brand dilution.
In September 2012, the ANA warned the US Department of Commerce (DOC) on the threats of not adopting a "Do Not Sell" registry or failing to regulate ICANN's newly implemented TLDs. Dan Jaffe, ANA Group Executive Vice President, noted in a letter, "The Internet community is on the verge of a [TLD] tsunami which will create a huge wave of risk for both businesses and consumers... [there will be] explosive growth in secondary domains (those domains to the left of the dot in Internet addresses). We believe it is critical that the DOC push for a comprehensive protection system that includes both a Do Not Sell registry and strong Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs)."
ANA emphasized that due to the high number of TLDs to be unveiled by ICANN's new gTLD Program, policing TLDs on one-by-one basis will be difficult, and that taking precautions beforehand will be an important step in preventing future cybersquatting and fraud difficulties. Cited difficulties include the fraudulent use of brand names in secondary domains -- such as when any brand name is paired with the generic domain .sucks -- or single company ownership of generic domains -- such as if L'Oreal owned .hair, .makeup, or .beauty.
Continued Jaffe, "The cost to companies that want to defensively register domains at the second level could mount easily into the multi-millions of dollars. The costs of defensive registrations also could be economically unfeasible for small and medium sized companies that will face enhanced risks of cybersquatting, typosquatting and phishing in the expanding top level domain universe."
ICANN & Community Response
ICANN CEO, Rod Beckstrom has said that ICANN will “vigorously defend” its gTLD program and the multistakeholder model that created it, asserting that “its responsibility [is to the] broad public interest of the global Internet community, rather than to the specific interests of any particular group”.
There has been little sympathy for ANA and CRIDO within the domain industry, even among those who are not supporters of the new gTLD program. It has been noted by numerous commentators, and even ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, that ANA commented twice on previous drafts on the new gTLD guidebook. They were clearly aware of the program, but failed to create its very loud opposition campaign until about 6 months after the approval of the program, and just a few months before applications are to be accepted. The fact is that ICANN had been producing the final program through its multistakeholder model for years, and produced a total of 6 draft guidebooks before approving the final version. ANA had the opportunity to participate in this process, as they knew about it, but chose to become only slightly involved.
It seems their intensive lobbying may have been key in securing a U.S. Senate hearing on new gTLDs, scheduled for December 8th, 2011. The hearing was convened by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Dan Jaffe, ANA's VP of Government Relations, was announced as a witness ahead of the actual hearing.
ANA Members' new gTLD Applications
Despite ANA's opposition to the program it was common knowledge that many of its largest members would still be filing new gTLD applications. This was generally suspected, but in some cases had already been announced, such as the .canon bid announced by ANA member Canon. This was further confirmed in January, 2012, just days before the launch of the new gTLD program, when Melbourne IT announced it was working on over 100 new gTLD applications for clients, including ANA members. In the end, approximately 100 members of ANA applied for new gTLDs, although many of the applications were probably defensive. Most applied only for their trademarks, but some, including Allstate's applications for .carinsurance and .autoinsurance, and Wal-Mart's and Safeway's competing applications for .grocery, applied for generic terms as well.
Do Not Sell List Proposal
A few days prior to the scheduled implementation of the new gTLD program, ANA accepted that ICANN will not delay its schedule and proposed the "Do Not Sell List" as a solution to the concerns of brand owners. The Do Not Sell List will include all the brand names of NGO's, IGO's and commercial stakeholders concerned in protecting their brands will be registered temporarily at no cost and it will be maintained by ICANN during the first round of application. ANA volunteered to organize a team of interested constituencies to work with ICANN during the first round of application to address the issues raised by each organization in the list. If no agreement was met after the first round of application, all parties will be free to pursue their legal and equitable rights without prejudice.
Videos to ICANN
ANA produced a few YouTube videos calling ICANN's claims of community consensus "lies" and attacking the new gTLD program, and also giving a background to ICANN's program and their, albeit belated, opposition to it. Both of the following videos were produced in November, 2011.
ANA is comprised of several committees that meet three to four times a year to exchange views on different issues and discuss case studies. At the moment ANA's committees are regionally based, with the most committees meeting in New York City. Other prominent committees and chapters are found on the West Coast, and Chicago.
ANA publishes a bi-monthly magazine for its members, which are distributed at national conferences and events. It also publishes an e-magazine for the business community, which analyzes issues such as measuring brand equity, leveraging emerging technologies, establishing best practices in multicultural marketing and expanding global marketing.
School of Marketing
To promote marketing and brand development skills ANA offers several courses and training workshops. The current catalog of ANA School of Marketing includes courses on the Fundamentals of Marketing, New Product Development, Aligning Marketing to Sales, Advanced Strategic Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Communications Media Strategy, Social Media Digital Marketing, Customer Centricity, Brand Management and Fundamentals Building Brand Equity, etc.
Besides organizing several events and conferences, ANA also participates in industry events. Some of these events are:
- The Strategic Indirect Corporate Sourcing & Procurement Conference held on July 27, 2011.
- ANA Digital & Social Media Conference, July 14, 2011
- ANA Advertising Financial Management Conference, held from 1st to 4th May 2011.
- Law and Public Policy Conference on 15-16 March 2011.
A complete list of conferences and webinars by ANA can be seen here.
- Complete list of officers.
- About ANA
- ANA challenges ICANN authority, AdvertisingComplianceLaw.com
- Jothan's Blog
- ANA Huff and Puff over New gTLDs, DomainNews.com
- Association of National Advertises ask ICANN to Abandon new TLDs, domainnews.com
- New TLD spotted FUD, CircleID
- Association of National Advertises ask ICANN to Abandon new TLDs, domainnews.com
- ANA Huff and Puff over New gTLDs, domainnews.com
- ANA says ICANN Needs to Conduct Thorough Review of Conflict of Interest Policies, blog.jothan.com
- Massive Group Forms to Kill Off New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com
- CRIDO says Battle Against New TLDs wont End January 12, domainnamewire.com
- Association of National Advertises ask ICANN to Abandon new TLD, DomainNews.com.
- ANA Warns Commerce Department About "Top-Level Domain Tsunami", MarketingVox.com. Published 28 September 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- ICANN Responds to ANA criticism, WashingtonPost.com. Published 2011 August 10.
- Why CRIDO has no cred, DomainNameWire.com
- The Opposition to the New gTLD Program is looking Like the FSC vs XX Everyday, TheDomains.com. Published 2011 November 11.
- Senate Hearing gTLDs, news.dot-nxt.com
- ICANN gTLD Senate Hearings, BrandChannel.com
- US Senate Committee to Hold Hearings on New gTLD Concerns, DomainNews.com
- Dyson Confirmed for New gTLDs Senate Hearing, DomainIncite.com.
- gTLD Dot Branding Deloitte Canon Motorola, BrandChannel.com
- Members List, ANA.net
- Melbourne IT involved in 100 gTLD applications, DomainIncite.com
- About 100 ANA members apply for new top level domains, domainnamewire.com
- Open Letter to ICANN Board: Answers Needed as Objections Mount
- ANA Community
- ANA School of Marketing