Kraft and P&G grab multiple Internet 'domains'

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Sorry, 'crisco.com' is already taken, too

What's in an Internet name?

A lot, apparently, if you're Metamucil, Jif or Cheez Whiz.

In the first two weeks of this month, Kraft Foods registered 132 "domain" names with InterNIC, the entity that assigns Internet identities to marketers and others looking to establish themselves in cyberspace. Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, reserved 52 names.

Reserving so many names is highly unusual on the Internet, where it's more common to see a corporate identity like ford.com or ibm.com than pampers.com or tide.com, both of which P&G registered. But it fits package-goods marketing strategy, which emphasizes individual products over corporate branding.

"The fact that they're registering a whole slew of names kind of indicates a defensive positioning," said Mike Walsh, president of Internet Info, a Falls Church, Va., company tracking domain registrations. There's no fee to register, but a marketer must have a relationship with an Internet service provider to ask for a name to be reserved.

Both marketers acknowledged their activity, but neither would comment on specific Internet plans, meaning we can only wonder what a marketer like Kraft wants to do with a site called velveeta.com.

Copyright August 1995, Crain Communications Inc.

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