Robert "Bob" Liodice is the current President and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, Inc., the first trade association established within the advertising industry dedicated to the advancement, promotion and protection of marketing and consumers. Liodice joined ANA in 1995 as Senior Vice President, and for nine years supervised the association's member services. In 2002, Liodice was named Interim President and CEO of the association when John Sarsen retired. A few months after his appointment, ANA's Board of Directors officially confirmed his appointment.
Before joining ANA in 1995, Liodice served as Vice President of global marketing and sales of Groupo Televisa, a media entertainment conglomerate in Mexico and the largest mass media company in Latin America. Prior to that, he worked in the finance and management department of General Foods (now Kraft Foods) for fifteen years, and Marketing Manager of JELL-O and Bakers Brands.
- The Advertising Council - Director
- Advertising Research Foundation - Director
- National Advertising Review Council - Director
- Partnership for a Drug-Free America - Director
- Advertising Educational Foundation - Director
- World Federation of Advertisers - Executive Committee Member
Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
ANA is the first association for the advertising industry and was originally established by 45 companies on June 24, 1910 in Detroit, Michigan. Its main objective is to protect and promote the interests of advertisers and consumers. At present, the association has 400 member companies, which represent some 10,000 brands. ANA is actively involved in different issues affecting the advertising industry and provides insights, encourages collaboration and serves as advocate for its members. Recently, the association has been actively involved in commenting on ICANN's new gTLD expansion program particularly the Brand gTLD. As President and CEO of ANA, Liodice is leading the Association in voicing out the concerns of its members.
Opposition to ICANN's New gTLD Program
Liodice has strongly opposed the New gTLD Program since its approval by the ICANN Board in June, 2011. On August 4, 2011, he sent a letter to Rod Beckstrom, ICANN President and CEO, stating that the implementation of an unlimited number of TLDs is "economically unsupportable," might cause "irreparable harm and damage," with "no obvious benefits and no consensus support" from businesses, consumers, academics, researches and government agencies. He emphasized that the unlimited expansion of new TLDs may result in misappropriation of intellectual property, defensive registrations, domain navigation dilution, increased cybersquatting, reduced investment by intellectual property owners and losses from failed TLDs. He also accused ICANN of violating its Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Furthermore, he requested that ICANN consider the concerns of brand owners, such as those whom he represents, and stop the implementation of the program. He also expressed that ANA would be open for discussion to resolve the matter, but threatened that if ICANN ignored their position, the association would take all measures to stop the new gTLD program. ICANN President Rod Beckstrom denied all the claims and accusations made by Liodice, describing his letter as "incorrect and problematic in several respects." Beckstrom's complete response is available here. Mr. Beckstrom pointed out to Mr. Jaffe that the few comments that ANA did make during the development of the gTLD Program were discussed by the organization and resulted in some implemented changes. Mr. Liodice was criticized by commentators for the fact that ANA and CRIDO largely became involved in the New gTLD Program after its approval, and for taking the issue straight to the U.S. Congress as opposed to being involved in the program during its 6 year development process.
Liodice also published a series of video blogs on YouTube talking about ANA's opposition to the ICANN New gTLD Program.
Testimony during the Congressional Hearings on ICANN New gTLD Expansion Program
In November, 2011, ANA created the Coalition for Responsible Domain Oversight (CRIDO), which serves as the association's primary group to lobby for the halt of the implementation of the new gTLD expansion program. Bob Liodice and Daniel Jaffe, ANA's EVP for Government Relations, represented ANA/CRIDO during during a Senate hearing conducted by the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on December 8, 2011 regarding ICANN's implementation of the new gTLD expansion program. During the hearing, the group pointed out that the new TLD program is "bad for marketers, consumers and the entire online marketplace" and "would cause irreparable harm and damage to the entire online business community." The joint ANA/CRIDO statement was read by Jaffe. On December 14, the association also testified during the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Jaffe delivered the same statement during the hearing.
"DO NOT SELL" Proposal
On January 9, 2011, Liodice sent a letter to NTIA Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling asking the agency to support ANA's proposal for ICANN to develop a DO NOT SELL list for brands as part of the new gTLD expansion program. Based on the proposal, the "Do Not Sell" list would provide NGOs and IGOs and Commercial Stakeholders the chance to protect their brands by joining the list for free at the opening of the program. According to Liodice, the "Do Not Sell list is a reasonable, constructive approach that could easily be adopted by ICANN on a temporary basis." Furthermore, he also encouraged NTIA to direct ICANN to implement the proposals of the Federal Trade Commission, which include:
- Implement all the recommendations of law enforcement community.
- Address the issues raised by FTC and other non-profit organizations that might harm consumers.
- Improve strategies for the protection of Intellectual Property.
- Develop practical methods to avoid the need for expensive and unnecessary defensive registrations.
- Implement procedures to address root scaling and other technical concerns raised by the Internet community.
- Bachelors Degree in Accounting & Management- New York University
- MBA in Finance- New York University
- Reveries Magazine, October 2003
- Bob Liodice Profile
- About the ANA
- Liodice Letter to ICANN
- Liodice Kicks Off ANA With Battle Cry Against ICANN
- ANA Marketers Channel
- Massive group forms to kill off new gTLDs
- U.S. Senate Committee to Review ICANN's gTLD Proposal on Thursday
- Testimony of Daniel L. Jaffe Executive Vice President, Government Relations Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
- Hearing ICANN's Top Level Domain Name Program
- ANA Urges NTIA to Support “DO NOT SELL” List for Brands as Part of ICANN’S Top Level Domain Expansion Program