Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be forgetting to secure key domain names before announcing campaigns and are failing to protect their reputations in doing so. The move has proved to be embarrassing for some, costly for another.
In the US, Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul both failed to register key domains before launching their campaign bids.
Former HP head Carly Fiorina didn’t register the carlyfiorina.org domain and it was snapped up by an opponent that used it to publicise that 30,000 people were laid off while she was CEO. The domain wasn’t registered until it was obvious she would be throwing her hat in the ring.
And one of her opponents also found he’d missed out on a key domain. Days before he launched his bid to be a Republican candidate, Rand Paul used his re-election committee to pay $100,980 to Escrow.com for a “domain name” on 27th March. The domain, randpaul.com, had been used though by friends of the campaign, unlike the Fiorina domain, as it was used as a pro-Paul website. Previously Paul was using the domain randpaul2016.com, which now redirects to his new domain.
Meanwhile in the UK, Liz Kendall a candidate to be the next Labour leader has set up a website using the lizforleader.com domain, but strangely didn’t consider registering lizforleader.co.uk, although she has registered the lizforleader.uk domain. Instead the domain has been registered to someone more at home with the ruling Conservatives. The website has displayed changing content or changing redirections according to a report in The Guardian and at the time of writing pulls content from the Conservatives’ website. The website currently has the title “jet fuel can’t melt leadership dreams”.
In an age when brand protection and reputation are important, it is a costly mistake to make that could have been avoided through little expense and a bit of thought.