Why you should look after your old URLs

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The back story is that Heinz ran a promotion with a QR code printed on their bottles between 2012 and 2014. The promotion, innocent enough, offered the Heinz customer the opportunity to design their own Heinz label which sounded kinda fun to Daniel Korell.

Heinz Ketchup Porn QR CodeSadly by the time Daniel scanned the QR code on a bottle which looks like it had been around for a few years Heinz had allowed the domain to expire. In the mean time it was snatched by Fundorado, a German pornography site and Daniel ended on a site slightly more “interesting” than the Heinz label designer site he was expecting to see.

The upshot is that Fundorado (doubtless full of glee at the unexpected publicity) have offered Daniel a year’s free membership to their site, Heinz (doubtless with faces as red as their tomato sauce) apologised and offered to send a bottle of ketchup with Daniel’s design printed on it for free.

The moral of the story is don’t let your domains expire for at least a few years after you stop using them. A domain is so cheap to register and renew that there’s really no excuse and if the content expires you can always redirect to your main website’s home page.

Finally Heinz appears to have forecast the event, in a strange twist the porn site redirecting ketchup bottle wasn’t any ordinary sauce, it was “Heinz Tomato Ketchup Hot“!

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