December 23, 2015
An Australian online campaign warning of the dangers of marijuana appears to be driving some traffic to a pro-cannabis site - and it's partly because of domain name choice.
The New South Wales' Government's “Stoner Sloth” campaign that targets teens has come under heavy fire for the content of the ad series; but also for what appears to be a rather embarrassing faux pas regarding the domain name.
The official site is StonerSloth.com.au - however, it seems that some of the traffic is heading out to the .COM name - which was a “cannabis solutions” site, based in Colorado (but the .COM site appears to have changed in the last day or so).
The topic and opinions of the Australian campaign generally aside, the situation does demonstrate that it's really important for business owners to give careful consideration in selecting a campaign and domain name.
The owner of the US site in question said he had been receiving 1,000 page views from Australia every day since the launch of the campaign - and it has also received a huge amount of press coverage.
Australian businesses should certainly register .com.au names as the .AU registry has a high level of consumer awareness and trust; but it's also wise to register the .COM version if it's available to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
If the .COM version is already registered, then the theme of that site needs to be taken into consideration; i.e. whether it may cause a conflict.
Even if it doesn't, bear in mind sites change. An Australian business may find further down the track that the .COM domain is sold to a competitor to scoop up wayward traffic or a party seeking to do damage to the .COM.AU registrant.
This is just one of the issues that should be considered when selecting a name. Pick up some more tips for choosing domain names.
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