Campaign Site Finds Darker Side of Web Branding
Although the Bush-Cheney campaign snagged Georgewbush.com, it lost out on registering the ".org" extension of its domain name. Now, e-mails meant for Bush campaign insiders are being feature on a parody site at that address, after mistakenlyCompanies that fail to register multiple domain names and extensions under their brand can fall victim to cyber-squatters, confuse their customers or open up their customers to Web and e-mail scams from hackers running look-alike sites. They also run the risk of sending sensitive e-mail to unintended recipients, as the Bush-Cheney 04 re-election campaign found out this month. Organizers of Georgewbush.org, a parody Web site of the authentic Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, recently realized its mail server had received some interesting e-mails from the campaign itself. Bush-Cheney 04 campaign officials and volunteers who mistakenly typed the .org extensionrather than .cominto the e-mail address header were likely surprised when those e-mails were published on Georgewbush.org. The servers "catch-all" mailbox had accepted the miscues, which clearly pleased the parody site.
Visitors to the parody site got an inside look at how major political campaigns strategize, debate, attack and slide into disarray. Advertising campaign scripts, news releases, arguments on how to report progress and even after-work party plans all made their way to the mailbox.