CIRA Goes Large on Marketing And PR For Launch of French Language IDN

CIRA, the registry operator for the Canadian ccTLD .ca, is raising its profile at the moment.

They’ve taken over the frontpage of  La Presse today, though it’s not viewable form outside Canada:

.ca take over the front of La Presse

.ca take over the front of La Presse

Why are they doing this?

Very simply it’s all related back to the launch of IDNs in .ca in order to support French language characters. It is now possible for French .CA domain names to be spelled with the language’s full range of characters and ligatures: é, ë, ê, è, â, à, æ, ô, œ, ù, û, ü, ç, î, ï, ÿ.

Byron Holland, CIRA’s head honcho explains some of the key elements of the IDN launch:

“This is great news for all Canadians because it means they can now use the .CA domain in Canada’s two official languages, French and English,” said Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA. “This is also great news for owners of .CA domains and their website visitors because it means that domain names can precisely match names, businesses and trademarks.”

One of the challenges that existing domain name registries face when introducing IDNs “after the fact” is how they handle existing names. A single string could have multiple variants once you factor in all the possible accented and unaccented variations.

In the case of .ca they opted for “bundling” which means that the registrant of is the only one who can access cirâ.ca or any of the other possible variants.

According to their marketing manager, CIRA is doing a bunch of promotions targetting French speaking Canadians to help “get the word out” that they can now register .ca domain names “properly” for the first time. Adverts are appearing on (in?) La Press, Le Soleil and Radio Canada.

They’ve also produced a pretty slick cartoony video:

Do you like this campaign or hate it?

Any thoughts?


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