Q. Where do old domain names go to die?
A. PR Hell!
Heinz, recently discovered that letting domain names expire is a risky business. The company was recently left red-faced after a customer in Germany discovered the QR Code on the side of his tomato sauce bottle linked to an adult website.
Originally, the QR code linked to a competition page to design your own label. The competition had run between 2012 and 2014 but it appears some labels continued to be used after the promotion had ended and the link expired.
The fact is, expired domain names offer a dangerous opportunity for less-than-scrupulous online businesses to highjack your brand and drive traffic to their sites.
The real tragedy is domain names are not expensive to renew and can easily be re-directed to more brand appropriate pages once an offer has expired. Can your clients afford to let their website addresses fall into the wrong hands?
The moral of the story is keep a track of all your URLs and don’t let them expire.