Changing from a .org to .com Ends in a Tribunal

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Michael Bilde sent me an interesting Daily Mail article that had to do with a company’s domain name change. From what I understand, an executive at “an organic sex aid company” called Yes Yes Yes allegedly decided to change the company’s domain name from the .org to the .com, and it did not go well. One of the founders of the company, who was opposed to making this change, was not happy when it was allegedly changed without approval.

Here’s an excerpt from the Daily Mail article:

“A senior executive at an organic sex aid company called ‘Yes Yes Yes’ was sacked from his £60,000 a year job after he changed the firm’s website address from .org to .com, a tribunal heard.

Head of marketing and sales Ciaran Arstall changed the address without his boss’s permission, as he believed it would boost sales for the company.

Yes Yes Yes, which specialises in making natural lubricants, was founded by two women who chose to use ‘.org’ in its domain name because they found it ‘amusing’.”

From what I can tell, it looks like the company had been using YesYesYes.org for its website. Whois History records from DomainTools show the company’s founder was also the registrant of the matching .com domain name since at least 2013. It was private for a couple of years before that. According to NameBio, YesYesYes.com sold on NameJet for $800 in November of 2011.

For what it’s worth, I looked at Archive.org and I do not see any record of the .com domain name being used beyond forwarding to the .org domain name so I can’t see what happened or when it happened.

I can understand why a marketing executive thought it would be wise to switch to the .com domain name for a business like this, but I can also understand why a company founder would not want to change a domain name after being in business for so long. At best, a url change can cause issues for a short period of time as things get updated. At worst, it can cause a major problem if things aren’t done entirely correctly. Even when things go well, there can be unforeseen issues. It reminds me a bit of the Nuts.com story from several years ago.

It looks like the company is now forwarding YesYesYes.com to its website on YesYesYes.org.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting story. I’ve seen plenty of cases like this where someone just decides to move (migrate) to another domain name. If it’s not done right, it can be a disaster for SEO but also you’d lose sales potentially, and maybe even email if it’s not done right.

  2. I think the bigger issue is that changing a company’s domain name is a huge thing, so to do it without getting approval from the boss/owner seems like a huge problem. It is not just about what is best for traffic, it is that the owner chose the name themselves and liked the sound of .org better. Aside from the org___ r-rated pun I assume they find humor in, .org gives the products some research/medical/non-prodfit implications as compared to .com which comes off as commercial.

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