September 16, 2003

Other Industries Quick to Copy Verisign's Latest Tactic

Make a Typo, Get an Upsell

New York, NY /DenounceNewswire/ -- 16 September 2003 -- Within 24 hours of Verisign Corporation's move to redirect non-existent domain name inquiries to their own advertising messages, companies in other industries have already unleashed similar tactics.

Verisign, which controls the .com and .net Internet domain names, yesterday moved to make it such that if a web user accidentally types in a domain name incorrectly, and the resulting name does not in fact exist, the user's browser is sent to an advertisement at Verisign's website, rather than the browser issuing a conventional error message indicating no such domain exists.

Now, SBC Communications, Worldcom, and AT&T have all launched similar programs within their services. If you enter a dial a bad phone number, no longer will you hear the familiar recorded voice informing you that "the number does not exist or is no longer in service." Instead, you will hear advertising messages for directory services, cellular and long distance discounts, and DSL services.

Within the television industry, changes are also taking place. Within the next few weeks, viewers across the country will discover that all those channels on their TV for which there is only static, suddenly will be filled with 100% advertisements and infomercials.

And the State of California's CalTrans division, which oversees highways across the state, has approved a ruling which will replace all "DEAD END" and "NOT A THROUGH STREET" road signs with advertisements from vendors ranging from auto dealerships to security alarm companies to tanning salons.

The U.S. Postal Service has also announced an exclusive arrangement with Gateway Computer Corporation whereby any letter sent to a nonexistent address will be forwarded to Gateway, where the letter will be destroyed in an environmentally sound way, but only before Gateway scans the return address and sends a full-color Gateway product catalog back to the sender.

Posted by denounce on September 16, 2003 11:31 AM

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