The new global top-level domains (gTLDs) are getting closer with a definite roll out plan most likely coming after the ICANN board meeting in Beijing April 7-11 (happening as we write this post). The question is, what will these new domains mean for marketers?
To get a sense of Klick’s opinions on this issue, you can see our older posts on this issue:
- The new domains on the horizon
- gTLD name request period is open – the land rush starts
- Internet changes may put your brand at risk
Bob Liodice at AdAge has provided some top-level advice for marketers:
- Educate yourself on every implication associated with gTLDs (which should include reviewing our posts, above)
- Thoroughly examine the current system your company has in place in regard to website domains
- Take action (easier said than done)
A new piece of the gTLD puzzle is the Trademark Clearinghouse is the result of trademark owners worrying that they will lose control of their brands to the new domain names. The ICANN information is posted on their website and on the microsite, trademark-clearinghouse.com (this site seems to have the more accessible information, including a 2-minute intro video).
What is Pharma doing?
In our last post we analyzed the then-current gTLD requests for participation by healthcare brands and found:
- 10 pharmaceutical companies
- 3 insurance companies
- 2 non-profit associations
Currently there are 1,930 requests in the system (which represents over $350 million in fees for ICANN). Here is an update to the status of the healthcare brands that are applying for gTLDs.
|Abbott Laboratories||ABBOTT||0||Both domains are still handled by the same domain name company, Fair Winds Partners|
|Alcon Laboratories, Inc.||ALCON||0|
|Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG||BOEHRINGER||0|
|Bristol-Myers Squibb Company||BMS||0|
|Eli Lilly and Company||0||Lilly has withdrawn its registration of Cialis, so now no pharma companies have decided to register a product brand gTLD|
|Eli Lilly and Company||LILLY||0|
|H. Lundbeck A/S||LUNDBECK||0|
|Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co.,Inc.||HISAMITSU||0|
|Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.||JNJ||0|
|Merck KGaA||MERCK||1||No one in either Merck camp has blinked, both Merck applications (Germany and US) are still registered|
|Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation||MTPC||0|
|Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited||TEVA||0|
|Aetna Life Insurance Company||AETNA||0|
|Allstate||ALLSTATE||0||They have some health offerings|
|State Farm||STATEFARM||0||They have some health offerings|
|WellPoint, Inc.||ANTHEM||0||Wellpoint decided that there was little reason to spend the money on the Carepoint name|
Not for Profit Associations
|Aesthetics Practitioners Advisory Network Pty Ltd.||0|
|American Heart Association, Inc.||0||The American Heart Association decided that the names weren’t worth the trouble|
|American Heart Association, Inc.||0|
|Australian Cancer Research Foundation||CANCERRESEARCH||0||A pretty long name for a gTLD|
|National Association of Boards of Pharmacy||PHARMACY||0||Very surprised there is no competition here, apparently the online pharmacy business isn’t as lucrative as previously thought|
The “ground truth” of the gTLDs is very hard to determine. We know that many users google names even when they know the domain, for example they will type “pfizer” into a search box or into the browser address bar and use the Google search results to visit the site. When the gTLDs roll out they won’t have to go through the search results to visit, the gTLD of “PFIZER” will take them there directly. If someone else got that name there could be a small amount of confusion for site visitors.
That said, if users were looking for a company such as Millennium (the Takeda oncology company) and they ended up anywhere but a health-related website I’m reasonably certain they would search again.
There are periods where brand owners can dispute names. Review the full list on the ICANN website and see if your brand is being claimed.
- If it is, then consider disputing it
- If it is not, then you’re fine, Google will still help users find your sites