An Open Letter to P&G CEO Bob McDonald. Procter and Gamble found GUILTY of Reverse Domain Hijacking.

Morning Folks!!

I am not happy that Procter and Gamble has been found guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking but I am going to milk this story for every ounce it is worth and it may take me YEARS to do it. When it comes to Domain Names, Procter and Gamble was a guiding light in my book. Great respect because they figured it out. Even tho I vaguely recall them dumping a bunch of domains years ago. I think I might have gotten 1 or 2.

Reverse domain name hijacking (also known as reverse cybersquatting), occurs where a trademark owner attempts to secure a domain name by making false cybersquatting claims against a domain name's rightful owner. In this case not only did P&G make false claims, they also lied outright to the governing panel and got caught!

See when I started, P&G was already out there getting domain names or soon thereafter. So they understood about domain names very early. It is that reason that what they did is particularly troubling. I always liked and respected Procter and Gamble because they always moved well with the time and of course I like everyone else use a lot of their products. But all our lives. All my parents lives. All my grandparents lives and half of the life's of their parents before them. Whew!

They are the warm and fuzzy company that gave us many soap operas and toothpaste and all types of other things we use each and every day. They perfected the TV commercial long before any of us were even in the game or born. So it makes me sad to learn one of my heroes is now a would-be thief had the other party not fought back and exposed their fraud! Well done John Berryhill!

Who made that decision? Who was responsible for P&G overstepping in this outrageous manner? So outrageous that a 3 member panel called them out in a way I don't think I have seen before. Saveme.com case had very strong language. But this language seemed to be harsher in tone. I guess it is open to interpretation. But maybe because it was slapping a business giant as if he had no more standing than you and me. BRAVO!!

I am not mad at them. I am going to use Procter and Gamble to make many points over the next YEARS! Let companies KNOW if P&G is convicted of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, you will be too if you engage in this despicable act. But I would just as well have them tell the story. I'd like to ask why a company worth billions would STAIN their reputation with this act that the common man would find appalling? Why would they not just come to an agreement with the owner? Now they pay the price and the price is priceless. How stupid is that??

I am angry, upset and most of all disappointed in a company that wrote the book on marketing and other things. They were true leaders of an era. Of many eras.

So what MORONIC company wants to be NEXT!!?? Who made the decision to do this? Why did they do it? What transpired that allowed them to risk so much for so little?? That's what I really don't get.

I am very disappointed. I am still going to use their products but they can't force me to look at their company the same ever again. These companies are playing with fire.

Maybe they should do some research into history and see what some little old ladies did to big companies that tried to build malls where their homes were located. This is akin to that. But in an age like this news flies and it is in ink.

Some SCHMUCK working at SOME DEPARTMENT at Procter and Gamble, decided it was worth GAMBLING the reputation of a 172 year old company. 135,000 employees. $79 BILLION in sales in 80 countries. And they had to try and muscle some guy with a domain? What would you call that Mr. CEO of Procter and Gamble?? I CHALLENGE you Mr. McDonald to come to our trade show and explain it to this audience and the wider audience? I CHALLENGE YOU!!??

Wow! What a HUGE blunder. What have you learned? Are you going to use the same tactics again? Are you pissed at me? Maybe you should be pissed but I am not the one you should be pissed at. I would be pissed at the person, department or firm that put the reputation of your 172 year old company on the line and LOST!!??

Besides all this your company, P & G, was found to misrepresent facts to the panel. Nice touch! Were you personally involved in that decision? You should RESIGN TODAY if you were. This is all my personal as well as professional opinion. I'll assume you were not involved in a low level decision that was this stupid and worse.

What say you Mr. McDonald? Personally I am just disappointed that a company I have always looked up to would stoop to this. I am sorry for the bluntness of this post but our industry has suffered from corporate bullies for nearly 20 years and this time the giant of em all went down and went down very hard. Very hard! A company that otherwise has been very wise in their domains and how they have conducted themselves. But now this STAIN and none of your STAIN REMOVERS will be effective on this.

Mr. Berkens points out that your folks LIED to the panel when your company said they did $40 Million in business on the 'swash' product.

“The entire Panel finds it more extraordinary still that in its Complaint the Complainant represented the SWASH brand to be a worldwide brand of longstanding with multi-million dollar sales, stating that over the last 4 years alone the brand had gained sales of over USD 40,000,000.”

“When this was challenged by the Respondent, the Complainant was forced to admit that the brand had only been on the market for 4 years, that sales had been restricted to the USA and that sales over those four years had totaled under USD 60,000.”

Most importantly Mr. Berkens points out one last thing:

Had the Respondent failed to respond, there is a very real risk that the Panel, relying upon the 1993 International registration and the substantial sales volumes claimed for the brand, would have found in favor of the Complainant. This Complaint fell very far short of what the Panel was entitled to expect from a Complainant of this stature.

So your company LIED Mr. McDonald in an effort to STEAL a domain that belongs to another company, Marchex, which just as easily could have been some mom and pop in Iowa that could not defend themselves and let you have the domain. You now join our 'Hall of Shame' and each time somebody is convicted of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, we repost the entire list. Congrats!

So let me ask you directly Mr. McDonald, How many domains has your company gotten that it had to LIE about? Or that they had to make folks spend money they did not have to defend what was rightfully theirs and is now yours? Tell us that. Isn't that a fair question in light of what has happened? Maybe you should WANT to find out. WANT to make it right. If I have something wrong, please let me know.

Sir, I have been doing this for 18 years and what your company did is troubling and it is something that we as risk takers have had to UNFAIRLY endure. There is a free market place. Use it, don't abuse it. Right now you and your 172 year old company have to live with this. It probably means nothing to you but it may mean the WORLD to somebody else. So to get our message out we need to SHAME companies that engage in this abuse as there is no penalty for what we just saw happen. They just walk away.

Mcdonald
Bob McDonald. CEO since 2009

Here is a list of Procter and Gamble Products. The asterisk are their *Billion Dollar Brands*. Come on Mr. McDonald. What say you about this? You sound like a stand up guy that served your country and company well. You have been with the company for 33 years. Don't you want to get to the bottom of this as well? Who put the companies good name in jeopardy for this? Who lied? What idiot is responsible? Marketing? Legal? Finance? Who? How many? Why would you allow this embarrassment to occur again or are you too big to be embarrassed? Any other abuse in the name of your 172 year old company. I sure as hell would want to know if I were in your position.

So we are forced to use Procter and Gamble as an example to sway the next MORON or the next company not to get involved with this despicable act of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH). Help us do that Mr. McDonald and you will find an ally and we can call it a great day!

And as I read the history of the company I stopped as it described the 'Joint Venture' that started this company back in 1837. Wonder what Mr. Procter and Mr. Gamble would have done given the same circumstance? Before they even had billions? My instinct says they would have acted in a different manner and somebody there violated a 172 year old trust just because he or she was a cheap bastard that played fast and loose with the facts and refused to pay either fair market value or find an alternative.

Regretfully,

Rick Schwartz



26 thoughts on “An Open Letter to P&G CEO Bob McDonald. Procter and Gamble found GUILTY of Reverse Domain Hijacking.

  1. Rick Schwartz

    I sent an email referencing this post to each and every communication directors at P&G. Let’s see if they have any response or this is just something they would like to ignore. Ignoring is not an option as they will see in time.

    Reply
  2. UFO

    Swash now is worth a whole heap more. If I was Marchex I’d put the case findings on the domain so all the buyers of Swash product can see the courts findings.
    Or you could just sell it for maybe a million…
    I’d take the money personally.

    Reply
  3. SF

    Many companies have come to the conclusion that business ethics are an old fashion, outdated notion. They no longer consider ethics in their decisions.
    They only consider what is Legal.
    In a meeting where the company is considering an act of reverse domain name hijacking, they dismiss how that might affect their brand or reputation.
    They decide:
    It’s legal …let’s do it.
    There is no fine …let’s do it.
    There is no punishment …let’s do it.
    When it comes to ethics, they can always claim later that they”believed” what they were doing was ethical.

    Reply
  4. Jeff

    Some one needs to put out a press release so mainstream media picks up the story. Maybe then other companies will learn a lesson

    Reply
  5. Anita

    Really hard to digest and hasn’t sunk in yet… the impact this CAN and probably WILL have on how big companies deal with domainers/domain owners and on domaining as an industry is mind-boggling. WOW!
    bulls eye SF… people will sit up and take notice about ethics if P&G is made to pay exemplarily… however i wouldn’t be surprised if in this age of degraded thinking they even take the hue and cry we all make as”no such thing as bad publicity”. Personally I think the CEO is a moron if he didn’t realize the implications of a sure loss with this on their brand – outrageous is the only word for it! he has no business running (ruining) the company like this.

    Reply
  6. Uzoma

    Great article, Schwartz.
    Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States that refers to conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals.
    Wikipedia describes moral turpitude as a concept that escapes precise definition but has been described as an”act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.
    And, I concur.
    The Reverse Domain Hijacking found against P&G is stunning. It touches the soul because I have a few great friends . honoring people, that have work for P&G, and have been for many years. By misrepresenting revenue and other financial disclosure to an official panel, what other implications could this have? Upon further investigation, were the data pulled from official filing with the IRS, by legal counsel, only to be exposed at the hearing as bogus? If I were Mr. McDonald, I would get to the bottom of this quick, and that is assuming that he is not the culprit in charge of taking domains from little guys. He seems like a stand up guy going by his CV, nevertheless, he should act on this quick.

    Reply
  7. S. Reynolds

    FYI, according to the filing and dnjournal, the law firm representing P&G was as follows:
    http://www.kmklaw.com/
    Keating Muething & Klekamp
    One East Fourth Street
    Suite 1400
    Cincinnati, OH 45202
    TEL: (513) 579-6400
    FAX: (513) 579-6457
    Contact: Susan Kurz, Director of Client Services
    Email: info@kmklaw.com
    Great work by Andrew’s dnw.com. Here’s the link to Ron’s dnjournal writeup in case anyone missed it:
    http://www.dnjournal.com/archive/lowdown/2013/dailyposts/20130311.htm

    Reply
  8. Joao

    No consequences whatsoever means that this is not the end. Their wallets aren’t damaged, so what’s the big deal here?
    In one side you see your property going way. On the other side of the coin nothing happens. Who’s to blame?
    It’s stupid to make the same questions for years and seeing nothing answered. It’s a wall made by impotent freaks that live in a wonderland, thinking that they are kings of something.
    No balls, just stupid sons of bitches steering what they think to be a status yacht.
    Due to the fact that this makes me sick, i’m going to stop writing…for now.

    Reply
  9. tcr

    zero consequences to them. they did not risk anything in regards to their reputation except in our small domaining community. but i agree kind of bullshit what they pulled. they netted 11 billion last year and will make more then that this year. no need for what they did.

    Reply
  10. Krishna

    It is frustrating to see this kind of tactics from bigcompanies. These companies ware found by legendary entrepreneurs. But, some idiots are now destroying the reputation of these companies with their actions.
    But, how many domain owners can employ lawyers to defend their domains?

    Reply
  11. Rick Schwartz

    Mainstream News won’t carry this story and one reason may be because they are one of the largest advertisers anywhere! So it would take some COURAGE!

    Reply
  12. Lda

    Yes there are consequences for P&G, but it depends upon us, and as Rick indicates, whether we pursue the matter into the future.
    The consequences are embodied in search engine pages.
    If, when anyone searches on ‘Proctor and Gamble’ they come up with a wide variety of comments, articles etc. with the theme ‘ Proctor and Gamble – convicted LIARS an ATTEMPTED THIEVES’ etc. the fact of them not being able to deflect the massive opprobrium associated with these postings WILL hit home, both at P&G and in the wider business community.
    It’s up to us. Start posting the truth EVERYWHERE.

    Reply
  13. Rick Schwartz

    Yesterday morning when I posted this, I sent an email to each of their communication people as well as Bob McDonald. I have heard nothing back as of yet.

    Reply
  14. BullS

    You scratch my ass$$$, I scratch your Ass$$$
    You cover my ass$$$, I scratch cover Ass$$$
    You KISS my ass$$$, I KISS your Ass$$$

    Reply
  15. Andy A.

    This absolutely should be a warning to all company”shmucks” that believe they can ask for and get a domain name through arrogance and bad faith.
    Rick, I am certain you will use this example and call out others over time. It may have been the ultimate blessing to domainers who hold domains in good faith, as opposed to those that are hard core cyber squatters.

    Reply
  16. Rob

    Great letter! Time will tell if, when and/or how P&G will respond in regards to their crucial blunder.

    Reply
  17. Ricky

    Amazing ineptitude (not the first by them, though) as well as a big drop in the trust factor for a major MNC like P&G – maybe worth an entry for their Wikipedia listing. A lot of credit goes to the lawyer guy who checked on the numbers.

    Reply
  18. Jay

    From a transcript of a speech given – apparently – multiple times at US Colleges and Universities in 2008-2009 by (now former) P&G CEO Robert McDonald: We also stress integrity: we don’t lie, cheat, or steal and we don’t tolerate people who do. That’s a very important value for us.”

    Really Bob? Did you then FIRE your entire Legal Department, because THEY certainly attempted to steal by lying, did they not?

    I suspect – strongly – that the real lie here is the CLAIM being made by P&G that they are particularly averse to lying. They are rather more disturbed by the fact they they were caught. This is why I have very little respect for P&G and do not consider them to be an ethical Company. This isn’t the first time, either…

    Reply

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