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Oops: New .Ca commercial has a trademark problem

John Berryhill noticed a problem with this TV commercial.

Screen grab of CIRA TV commercial featuring the trademark Realtor in a domain name at a hockey rink

Note the domain name in CIRA’s new commercial.

Yesterday I wrote about CIRA’s new TV commercial suggesting that Canadians register .Ca domain names instead of .com.

I got caught up in the humor of the commercial and overlooked something that only a trademark attorney would quickly catch: the ad shows a domain name including the trademark REALTOR.

The ad firm that created the commercial registered the domain names featured in the commercial. That means it registered and

John Berryhill picked up on this:

So, the Toronto ad firm @giantsandgents registered a .com and and .ca domain name (RupertTheRealtor) using the @nardotrealtor (US) and @crea_aci REALTOR® mark to advertise the #CIRA domain registry which competes with .realtor. Next up, using “HILTON” for Days Inn ads…

— John Berryhill (@Berryhillj) September 24, 2019

Now, I will admit to having registered a domain with the Realtor mark in it many years ago without realizing it was a trademark. That was many years ago, and I didn’t put it in a major ad campaign.

Looks like that scene might need to be reshot. Or CIRA and the ad firm, Giant and Gents, might need to make nice with The Canadian Real Estate Association.

Responding to the issue, CIRA told Domain Name Wire:

We are really proud of, and stand behind, the ad. The reaction so far has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to helping as many Canadian businesses as possible get online with a .CA domain name.

I don’t doubt that it’s been positive. I like the add. But that doesn’t address the issue.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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