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.deloitte starts TLD land grab.


Manchester and New York: Big Four professional services firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), the one with, let's face it, the biggest mouthful of a name, felt moved to announce yesterday that it has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for one of the new Top Level Domain (TLD) names.

Since you ask, it will be ".deloitte" — and not ".DTTL".

No doubt the rest of the consulting and wider prof serve world has applied for one too, and it is not hard to see the attraction, especially for global networks like DTTL that struggle to maintain a simple, elegant global brand.

It is easy to scoff at the TLD idea as the ultimate in corporate aggrandisement, but DTTL's rationale is revealing.

Heather Hancock, Managing Director, Global Brand & Communications, DTTL (now THAT is a title) observes, "Being a pioneering applicant for a TLD aligns with the Deloitte brand's positioning and marketplace presence as leader, innovator, and impact maker. Additionally, the '.deloitte' TLD will offer improved site accessibility and usability to Deloitte member firm clients, recruits, and others for an enhanced online experience--and lay a foundation for future online innovation."

But for DTTL, the new TLD is not just about global branding. It goes on, "A TLD also helps to ensure that the internal online activity and exchange of information among a company's employees is secure...A TLD can help to serve as a defence against counterfeit operations that could harm an organization's reputation--including "domain squatting," in which fraudulent websites are created to profit from using a brand name belonging to a legitimate business.

"Adopting a '.deloitte' TLD can help to protect as well as enhance the Deloitte brand," said Larry Quinlan, Global Chief Information Officer, DTTL. "With the rollout of the TLD, Deloitte member firms will continue as industry leaders in providing clients and people with world-class IT security."

Tracey Edwards, Global Chief Knowledge Officer, DTTL commented: "The safeguarding of corporate intellectual property is a top priority for DTTL and its member firms, and the '.deloitte' TLD will further reinforce the safety of Deloitte member firms' intellectual property, as well as the exchange of information among their people and their clients."

So we can look forward to .deloitte, and as the TLD land-grab hots up .pwc, .accenture et al can't be far behind. There is probably a top-level global marketing and IT security meeting going on as we speak.

Anyone who won't want a TLD?

Maybe .booz might give the wrong idea.

(And who gets to keep the TLD if the Big Four get broken up again?)

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