As it awaits WikiLeaks bomb, Bank of America buys up offensive domain names (and does a sloppy job of it)
"Defensive registration" designed to minimize PR fallout from online mockery. Sure. Tell that to Monica Lozano.
No matter what happens when WikiLeaks releases an expected flood of internal documents from Bank of America, there's one thing you can count on: All will be quiet over at BrianMoynihanBlows.com.
Because BofA owns the rights to that particular domain name, which, were it to fall into the wrong hands, could be used to publicly mock BofA chief executive Brian Moynihan in ways no bank president or wealthy person should have to endure in a truly civilized society.
(Also see: Bank of America cuts services for WikiLeaks)
Thanks to some shrewd defensive domain-name registration on the part of BofA, Moynihan needn't worry about any shenanigans emanating from BrianMoynihanBlows.com, BrianMoynihanSucks.com, BrianTMoynihanBlows.com or BrianTMoynihanSucks.com. (Unless, of course, one of his tech guys goes dark-side on him.)
As Domain Name Wire reports, BofA "has been aggressively registering domain names including its Board of Directors’ and senior executives’ names followed by “sucks” and “blows”.
The meeting in which this strategy was first discussed had to have been the BofA Meeting of the Year. "What about 'blows'? You know, like 'blankblankblows.com'? What if someone thinks of that? It could topple the whole bank!"
I'm sure BofA believes it's one step ahead of the Internet rabble, but as with the foreclosure robo-signing scandal, it's clear that corners have been cut. An exclusive ITworld domain search of the names of all 13 BofA directors -- with "sucks" and "blows" attached to each -- shows all .com versions taken, with the following curious exceptions:
If I were board members Monica C. Lozano (CEO of ImpreMedia) or Thomas J. May (chairman and CEO of NSTAR), I'd be hopping mad about this. Why should they, of all the bank's directors, be the only ones to potentially "suck" or "blow," at least on the Internet? Everyone else is safe. It just doesn't seem fair.
Mark my words: The fireworks are going to fly at BofA's next board meeting!
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.