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ANA Moves Campaign Against New gTLDs to YouTube, Accuses ICANN of Lying

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has shifted its campaign against ICANN's new gTLD program to YouTube with a video from its President accusing the organization of "lying" about having reached a consensus over its plans, reports Kieren McCarthy at .Nxt.

"The video ends with a dramatic statement, clearly devised to produce stories such as this one: 'So we'd like to say to ICANN: your claim for consensus it wrong, it is false, it is a lie. Nevertheless, Liodice does make a strong point: if this many organizations — and they include many large companies and mostly American associations — are opposed to the program, how can you claim to have reached a consensus?"

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ANA lacks German support Dirk Krischenowski  –  Dec 01, 2011 1:03 AM PDT

The two large German associations which are members of ANA's phalanx are

a) not aware of ANA's activities
b) do not support ANA's activities

These associations are the German Advertisers Association OWM (a sub-organisation of the German Brand Association) and German Association of Communications Agencies GWA. I had a chat with both on the topic since I could not imagine that both associations would act against the interest of members (large German brands) which actively pursing a .brand application at ICANN.

This is another indication, that ANA's activities lack the support they claim!

Where to start.... Paul Keating  –  Dec 01, 2011 2:25 AM PDT

Let's see, here is the proposition being made in the video:

"a number of large corporations objecting prevents consensus"

Facts:  Regardless of how large a corporation is, it is only one (1) voice.  Neither its revenues nor the number of employees make that number increase.  This must be measured against all of the other individual voices that were heard and which did not object.  By my count, that leaves the objecting corporations in a distinct minority.

Fact:  Consensus does not mean 100% approval.  Here is the definition:

— n
general or widespread agreement (esp in the phrase consensus of opinion )

Note:  usage Since consensus refers to a collective opinion, the words of opinion in the phrase consensus of opinion are redundant and should therefore be avoided.

Source:  Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

The video seems to indicate that a "consensus" requires the absence of objection (at least by corporations).  While the original Latin root also references "harmony", to argue in modern day that consensus requires absolute harmony would apply an overly strict interpretation precluding any decision from being expressed as a consensus decision.  Example, everyone would perhaps agree that nature is an example of "harmony".  That there are many examples of conflict within nature does not preclude such a belief.

Moreover, if you look at the definition of harmony, you find that most of them deal with choral arrangements (pleasing to the ear). You also find:

(noun) agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity

The process undertaken by ICANN in connection with the new gTld process was open and for the most part transparent.  All were able to provide arguments and these resulted in significant changes to the guidelines.  Having (from my recollection) largely remained silent during the discussion, these people should not be now heard to complain.  This is particularly the case when the "complaint" is that it will "cost" their supposed members money.  All economic expansion requires an investment and many technological changes result in temporary displacement and even chaos - examples include the move from individual stores to shopping malls (requiring more roads, parking, driving, gasoline, not to mention the loss of revenues in downtown), Television which had a tremendous negative impact on the importance of radio, etc., automatically connecting telephones which put poor Mable out of work as the switchboard operator....  I have no sympathy for the arguments put forth in the video.

P. Keating

The market will determine if any particular gTLD is a success.

Only 23% of ANA Members Have Signed On. Is That Really A Consensus? Ray Marshall  –  Dec 01, 2011 8:21 AM PDT

If you visit ANA's website, you will notice that this organization has a total of 443 members.  Of that total, ANA is claiming on this video that 103 members have signed on thus far.  That represents about 23% of ANA's total membership.  Put another way, 77% have not signed on as of the date of this video.  What's also interesting is that some of ANA's members have already expressed an interest in .BRAND gTLDs, i.e. Canon and Deloitte.  Doesn't look like ANA is on very solid ground.  Perhaps that's because ignorance is not always the best strategy.  In this video, ANA implies that the new gTLD program was just sprung on the public in June.  Of course, that's not correct.

re 23% ... Initiatives like this are irritated by things like facts Jothan Frakes  –  Dec 01, 2011 12:21 PM PDT

@Ray, I laud your calling out these numbers, but you have to remember that this is yet another push for status quo by many of the same people who have been involved in delaying and delaying and delaying the introduction of new TLDs, this time leveraging different organizations that they're members of.

Leveraging 23% representation opaquely as consensus while attacking the consensus of another process that had much higher consensus in a transparent manner.  It uses both important tools.

As an added bonus, here's the magic delay formula and how it works for them:

1] Facts are just annoying things that get in the way of agendas like these - it is important to bend reality to illustrate exasperating edge cases and worst case scenarios so that people overlook inconvenient things like actual facts.

2] Double standards are fundamental in the "TLD haters" camp.  What is good for the goose is only good for the gander if the gander can organize as well or afford the expensive lobbyists and campaign contributions. 

3] using 1 & 2 in harmony, it is possible to confuse or mesmerize many of those in office who still have that confusing box above their television with the flashing 12:00 (a reference to technophobes) that this is actually a big problem that needs immediate attention.

4] Government is good at doing things slooooowly.  Count on Bureaucratic entities to introduce delay based upon addressing things - you can get at least a handful interested to 'review the situation' by contributing to their campaigns or assembling what looks like an angry, pitchfork and torch wielding mob.  If you can buy yourself some time this way, you've injected more delay.

Armchair quarterbacking, thats all this is. They Volker Greimann  –  Dec 01, 2011 10:03 AM PDT

Armchair quarterbacking, thats all this is. They were too cheap or too lazy to engage with the ICANN community during the long, long, long process during which this program was developed, and now, once everything is finally done and a large consensus was achieved, they suddenly come out of the woodwork and try to torpedo the work of thousands, with flimsy arguments and spurious support at best.

They complain now and call ICANN liars? Look who is talking!

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