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BEST PRACTICE: Battling the brandjackers

Brandjackers profit by setting up bogus websites on domain names used by recognisable brands and posting pay-per- click advertising links (often to competitor sites, phishing scams or adult content). According to a recent report by MarkMonitor cybersquatting jumped 33 per cent this year. So bad is the problem that brands such as Christian Dior and Gucci employ organisations to help remove bogus websites and online auctions.

It is estimated these organisations are responsible for removing over $1 million of illegitimate sales each week from online auctions and bogus ecommerce sites.

From a marketing perspective, brandjacking can be very damaging for legitimate enterprises. Not only does it deny them the ability to use that domain, but it can also seriously threaten their online reputations by misleading potential new customers. Just to twist the knife further, the true trademark owners are then held to ransom by the cybersquatters, who offer to sell the domain back to them at a vastly inflated price.