Addicted to novelty since 2001

Splenda Snaps Up Negative Domains

Regular readers will recall that, a while back, I was pretty unimpressed with Splenda’s advertising techniques. Their most recent move doesn’t endear the company to me, either. According to Lloyd at Sustainable is Good (via Seth), the artificial sweetener company has been buying up all the negative Splenda-related domain names they can find:

Image is everything today, if you don’t believe that statement, just look at the lengths the companies who produce the artificial sweetener Splenda are going to control potentially negative information on their product. Tate & Lyle, manufacturer of Splenda, along with its US based co-developer Johnson & Johnson have bought up potentially negative domain names by the hundreds. The three top level .com domain names mentioned above [splendakills.com, victimsofsplenda.com, splendatoxicity.com] sound like something out of a medical examiners post mortem but they are actually domain names owned by the sweeteners own makers. Why?

Image may be everything, but how does this look? “We know our product might be poison, so let’s prevent people from talking about it.” It’s not an uncommon move by companies, but it’s just a waste of perfectly good corporate dollars. They could blow their entire marketing budget on domain names, and still have nil impact on the anti-Splenda campaign.

If the site promotion is effective, and there’s enough public interest, any domain will do. How about FakeSugarSucks.com? SplendaGoGo.org? It’s too bad there isn’t a .da domain extension.

UPDATE: Here, for example, is one such domain that Splenda didn’t get.

6 Responses to “Splenda Snaps Up Negative Domains”

  1. Andrea >> Become a Consultant Blog

    When I was working in an office job, one of the IP lawyers at our company asked me to buy up all the negative domains for our company. I explained that, with some search engine work and even an AngelFire account (it was a while ago), anyone could set up a website. We didn’t need to buy XXXXXXsucks.com, because someone could easily set up http://www.angelfire.com/~XXXXXsucks or members.shaw.ca/~XXXXsucks or whatever. They still made me blow $1000 a year on negative domains. I felt it was just a way to keep the lawyers fed.

  2. Liz

    Sometimes I wonder if businesses have ever actually used the internet..

  3. Hogwild

    I don’t know…with as much bad info as there is on the net these days, I wouldn’t assume from their intent that they believe their product is “poison”. We all know how powerful the internet is and some yahoos spewing bad info can ruin a product/company if the right websites get hold of it.

    Now, whether or not their strategy will work is a different question. There are just too many domain name possibilities. I guys they will take the easy ones off the market, though.

  4. rider

    I wrote this Splenda story, I’m very interested in all the feedback and comments. I think what I find most interesting about this story is the domain names the companies brainstormed to ultimately buy. How they came up with some of these domain names like “victimsof splenda.com” is fascinating to me.

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