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BBC: To renew or not to renew?

Labeled as domains in Domain Industry News, started by Lox, Apr 7, 2021

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  1. Lox

    Lox _____ VIP

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    To renew or not to renew? The BBC’s pragmatic approach to domains has seen it cut its portfolio in half

    Over the years, brand owners have invested huge sums in defensive domain name strategies. While holding on to all those registrations simply to keep others from getting their hands on them may seem like the best option, eventually the costs add up. This is especially true for companies such as the BBC, which has both its own brand and those of its numerous popular TV shows to protect. On realising that roughly 90% of the BBC’s 20,000-plus domain names were for inactive sites, Diane Hamer, head, business and legal affairs, brand protection, decided that it was time for a more pragmatic approach. “I just thought actually this is not an efficient way to spend money because no matter how much we do we can never litigate against every misuse of our brands,” she says. As such, her team has decided to strip back the portfolio by about 50%. “It’s been a backbreaking process,” she admits. And how do rights holders decide what to cut and what to keep? Traditional TLDs and the company’s origin country ccTLD are likely vital. Anything else (eg, domains that use hyphens or misspellings) may be worth slashing. You need to build “internal metrics and a scoring system to rate how much of a threat the domain name may be to the company”, says Alexander Karlsson, senior brand protection analyst at Daniel Wellington. The task cannot be undertaken in a silo, either. For Leslie Nettleford, associate general counsel at AARP, establishing a cross-departmental team has been “the absolute best thing we’ve ever done for our brand protection efforts”. Their monthly meetings help with accountability and minimise the risk of cancelling a domain name that another area of the business relies on. Streamlining the portfolio could even uncover hidden gems, says Marc H Trachtenberg, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig. Brand owners that were quick off the mark could be sitting on four-word domains or generic terms, which can then be monetised. Although you do not want the wider company to see brand protection as a substantial revenue generator and subsequently slash budgets, being able to prove value in this way is a bonus. But the hard reality is that this is a painstaking task – evident from the fact that most brand owners with extensive portfolios would rather just renew their registrations than have to comb through them. “My advice to anyone starting out on this process would be to just get one really good domain name, build brand awareness around that domain name and don’t try to protect all the rest,” says Hamer. You may have to file more UDRPs, but “at least you’re not responsible for that extra load” says Trachtenberg. Bad actors will always find new ways to target brands – at some point you have to put your faith in consumers being technically aware.

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  2. Samer

    Samer Top Contributor VIP

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    To renew or not to renew.

    That is the question.
     

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