Guidance for marketing new .uk domain names

We have created a customer hub to help explain which customers have pre-existing rights to the equivalent .uk domain name.

However, the right of refusal rules can be complex to explain in the short copy common in marketing campaigns. As a result, we appreciate that there is a risk of information being incomplete or misleading. 

There are a few areas where it is important to be clear:

  • Customers with existing rights must not be led to think that they are under any kind of time pressure to exercise their right to a .uk. Neither should they be led to believe that they are under obligation to make any payments up front to secure or retain that right. 
  • Customers who do not have existing rights should not be given the impression that they can be guaranteed registration of a particular domain when that is not the case due to existing rights. Any guarantees should be in relation to specific domains that are available and should be linked to purchase of a qualifying domain. For unqualified registrations of interest in .uk domains it should be clear that domains may not be available and that this will be communicated to the customer.
  • Where possible we would suggest including a link to the customer hub to help consumers understand the .uk rights in full.

We will review any issue with marketing activity brought to our attention and in all cases discuss it with the registrar in question.

Registrars are welcome to email us for advice on whether the content of a campaign is factually accurate. 

Registrars should be aware that any marketing activities that they carry out online, including any claims on their own websites, are subject to the Committee on Advertising Practice Code (the CAP Code), which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). 

The CAP Code includes a requirement that advertisements not be misleading. The ASA can enforce sanctions against those who breach the CAP Code, including requiring publishers (such as Google) to remove offending adverts. In order to assist advertisers in preparing marketing copy, the CAP publish guidance on their website and operate a Copy Advice Team, who can provide advices on ensuring particular campaigns are compliant with the CAP Code.