Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How Does Bank of America Suck? Let Me Count The Ways

This story about Bank of America preemptively scooping up 439 domain names related to the suckiness of their senior officers and directors is absurd.  And, no - it's not from The Onion, so I consider it an early Christmas present for everyone on the internet to enjoy.

"The BofA registrations followed this formula: Pull up the public roster of the bank’s senior officers and directors, and buy up web addresses with the officials’ names followed by the words “blows” or “sucks,” according to the list of the recently registered BofA Web addresses collected by research service Domain Tools. For example, among the domain names bought in recent days are at least 12 variations on Bank of America Chairman Charles O. Holliday Jr."

I mean, come on. If I wanted to talk shit about Bank of America or its people, this would just give me ammo and easy publicity.  The best thing about the WSJ article is that it lists the actual domain names registered!  For example, on the above mentioned Mr. Holliday Jr, the registered domains are:

Come on, Bank of America - is that really the best you can do?   No wonder you're faltering - that's vanilla thinking.  You should fire your Executive Vice President in charge of Predatory Domain Squatting and hire me instead, because in about 30 seconds I can come up with some much better domain names that I could probably get to go viral in a matter of weeks (note: I invite anyone to do this, just give me a shoutout.)  Let's give it a quick go:

see - the point is that it's impossible to cover even a fraction of the potential "hater" sites, so why even try - it just encourages it!    The Journal article notes:

"Josh Bourne of FairWinds Partners, which advises companies on their digital brands, said companies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to $1 million a year on “defensive” registrations to help keep a lid on websites that may trash the company, or misdirect people to fraudulent Internet sites. For example, domain names and are owned by their corporate namesakes, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Companies “are definitely not trying to close every doorway, which is impossible,” Bourne said. “But you can close some of the most important doors” to criminal behavior or just plain corporate nastiness, said Bourne about the defensive registration of Web addresses.

But even after a blanket effort to buy up BofA-related Web addresses, there is plenty of room for critical Web sites. already exists as a forum for people unhappy with the bank. The web name is taken, according to WhoIs, but is so far unused. may have been scooped up last week, but is still available. So too is, which is available for just $9.95 a year."

FairWinds Partners is thinking INSIDE the box - they need some outside the box thinkers to really get the good (by which I mean, damaging) domain names.  Hey FairWinds - consider the list above my resume.  

Before anyone leaves me a comment telling me how important ORM (Online Reputation Management) is, stop and think:  the harder you try to prevent this stuff from happening, the more likely it is that someone who wants to slam you will get publicity and slam you anyways.  Never mind the fact that information can be posted on ANY website - not just ones with "BankofAmericaSucks" as a theme.


disclosure: no positions

note: related, an example of legit suckiness at Bank of America (actually, Merrill Lynch)


M. Terry said...

KD - A whole new career avenue has just opened for you! Apparently, this is the best use of money that the bank has. Perhaps they now have a domain name prop desk and are waiting to put some of these out to bid - I hear ravenous WikiLeaks fans have their paypal wallets open!


Joel said...

Every time I hear a story like this, I try to imagine how in the world it got approved. I picture some ambitious underling pitching it to bunch of execs sitting around a conference room... and one of the execs saying, "You know what... that's actually a great idea, go do it!"

Dad said...

KD - Thanks for that story. It was the best holiday gift ever. I don't think I laughed so hard in a long time.

Onlooker said...

Too funny KD. And it's really just pathetic that they even spend the time/resources to do this. As you easily point out, it's a fools errand.

But maybe Joel is right and it's just some young guy selling this B.S. plan to the old, tech un-sophisticates in the corner office, giving himself some job security. As long as they don't catch on to the fact that it's a Sisyphean task.

They're just asking to get picked on by folks in the intertubes. God knows they've crapped on enough of the common folk to stoke the fires for a loooong time. Idiots

StB said...

I like how
has the education tag. Well played sir!

getyourselfconnected said...

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays Kid!