How Not to Increase Online Credibility: MediaPost Fail
Let me first say that I’ve been a fan of MediaPost for years now. MediaPost has, over the years, reported some great stories. But I’m actually embarrassed by a recent article in their Marketing Daily column that I read from time to time. I’m not sure if this is just a lack of attention to detail or not, but a friend of mine tipped me off, showing me this. And FreshAvails gave me inspiration for this blog post.
Pay particular attention to the website that’s reportedly the Aldi home page:
This MediaPost article is about how Aldi Foods recently “released a study showing that Aldi shoppers spend up to 26% less than those who shop at discounters like Walmart, and up to 37% less compared to those who shop at traditional supermarkets.” That’s great news, since I actually would like to see Aldi’s come into our area and start offering an alternative to Walmart. But wait.
Is that MediaPost graphic claiming that the home page of Aldi’s is a Parked Domain Name?
That’s right, take a look again at it. Rather than doing some simple research by Googling Aldi to get the facts right, the image used in the story is a graphic/screen capture/thumbnail image of Aldis.com, a domain name that is not owned by Aldi Foods.
I find this very embarrassing, on two fronts:
First, there to be a lack of attention to detail by the author and the editor at MediaPost. The image of the parked domain name, aldis.com, and the image of clouds on the website makes it horribly obvious that this is NOT the Aldi Foods website. Furthermore, it appears that the graphic was resized and therefore someone had to have looked at the photo.
In a world where us online writers and bloggers are begging for respect, this is does absolutely nothing for our credibility. In fact, I’m trying to decide if I should continue to keep up my subscription to MediaPost and read anything that they have to say in the future. Yes, it’s that bad.
Secondly, and, more importantly, I’m very concerned over the fact that Aldi has not taken the steps to protect their online brand. They do own Aldi.com, but they need to realize that the term that their customers use to refer to the company and their stores is “Aldi’s”. Apparently the phrase is searched on Google at least 33,000 times every month. Not only should they own Aldis.com, I would also expect them to own the domain name Aldis.de.
By the way, if you’re not familiar with the process, there is what is called a “domain dispute policy”, officially called the “Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) or “UDRP” for short. If you believe that someone else owns a domain name that you have a right to own then you can file a UDRP request and have a third party officially decide if it should be turned over to you or not. In this case, I recommend that Aldi file a UDRP and take over the Aldis.com domain name and redirect it to their own site.
This reminds me of the case of Federal Express. Some of you might be too young to remember, but FEDEX wasn’t always “FEDEX”. A while back, FEDEX was actually “Federal Express”. And that was their brand…everything had “Federal Express” on it, even their planes. But the public continued to call the company “FEDEX”. After a period of time, they changed their name to “FEDEX”. In the case of Aldis.com, I believe that the company would have a case towards owning the domain name aldis.com. The current owner of the domain name doesn’t appear to be using it from anything other than owning the name for monetary gain from the typos.
In this case, MediaPost has failed. I would fully hope that at some point they take the time to update the graphic on this blog post and dismiss it as a mistake and a lesson learned. By not taking the time to fully do your research and show the proper graphic on an otherwise well-written and timely article, you’re definitely losing your credibility with me.
UPDATE: After several people have pointed out this article on MediaPost, it looks like the Media Post folks have finally updated the article and included a new screenshot of the real Aldi Foods website. Now if only Aldi would recover the aldis.com domain name….