Mummy Bloggers at war over domain name tactics

Blogging is big business, and it doesn’t get much bigger than in than world of “Mummy Bloggers”. It’s a pretty lame term to describe the many and passionate mums...

Blogging is big business, and it doesn’t get much bigger than in than world of “Mummy Bloggers”. It’s a pretty lame term to describe the many and passionate mums of the world who have created websites covering everything from activities for kids, cooking for kids and families, travel with families and a whole lot more.  In Queensland things are getting a little bit tense over what are alleged to be unethical activities relating to the registration of several website domain names.

“Mummy Bloggers” are popular with their readers, and with brands looking to target that very important and often hard to target market of the working and stay and home mum.  On Facebook alone two sites have attracted over 400,000 “likes” each, so when one allegedly buys a domain name very similar to the name of a competitor – things start to hot up.

For clarity, a “Domain Name” is the written address we all use to navigate around the internet.  It’s the “dot com” or “dot com dot au” we have in our mind when we want to visit a site.

 UPDATE: Stay at Home Mum founder Jody has made a public video statement via Facebook – Watch it here

Early on Wednesday, Katrina, a Gold Coast Mum who runs the website “The Organised Housewife” posted an intriguing message on her Facebook page – for her 448,000 Facebook fans.

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Katrina makes a very valid point.  It’s up to website owners to look for similar domain names and register those to ensure you can get as much of the traffic to your website that you can.  When someone hears about a site by word of mouth, the first thing they might do is to visit by typing in the website address.

So what happens when a very similar domain is purchased by another person or organisation, and directed to a different, and in many ways competing site?  People visit, and they stay, and they read.  Good business for that other website right?

The problem isn’t a legal one – unless you own the trademark to your business name and that can be aggressively defended (at great cost).  The problem here is the perception and the perceived ethics involved – and that is never more clear than in this very case.

In the case of “The Organised Housewife”, website “Stay at Home Mum” has indirectly addressed the above post by acknowledging ownership of “100’s of domains were redirected to our site”.  One such domain was “” and “”.  Until earlier today, visiting either of those sites took you straight to the Stay at Home Mum page (It has since been updated to direct visitors to a Wikipedia page).

Stay at Home Mum posted to their 400,000+ Facebook “fans” today:

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When it comes to successful Facebook posting, engagement is key.  Stay at Home Mum is doing a great job of engagement with that post, over 500 people have commented.  The problem is, they’re not happy – not happy at all.

Fans and readers are calling this unethical, asking for a more sincere apology and generally expressing a “dislike” for the behaviour.



EFTM has also been contacted regarding other similar actions allegedly undertaken by “Stay at Home Mum”.  Chris Gryg, Managing Director at Stay At Home Mum Pty Ltd was earlier this year involved in an email exchange with a representative from Brisbane Kids website “”. Chris it seems, is the registered owner of “”.

Ngaire Stirling from told EFTM “My copywriter offered Chris Gryg a few hundred dollars for the domain name, however he replied wanting to lease it to us for $150 a week, or sell it for $20,000

Chris clearly wasn’t too concerned with the whole issue, he tweeted this message earlier this week: (which he has since deleted)

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.26.05 pm

The problem for Stay at Home Mum is the power of the reader – when Mummy Bloggers go to war, they unleash their most valuable asset – their readers and fans.

Stay at Home Mum is a business, a media company (albeit a small one) which publishes content on the website it runs, and offers advertising and other product integration opportunities for businesses, it looks like fans of The Organised Housewife are turning to those businesses to express their concerns.

Fans of The Organised Housewife have been posting regular messages on the Facebook page of the Suncorp Bank who have at some stage run advertising on the Stay at Home Mum website



To their credit, Suncorp have started responding with a generic message to all posts

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.09.18 pm

In the end, without a trademark lawyer getting involved, there’s nothing illegal going on here.  However, the ethics of any business which registers the domain of a competitor, only to redirect it to their own page are very strongly drawn into question.

Imagine if Telstra or Vodafone registered the domain “” – There’d be a backlash, and that’s what we’re seeing in this case today. (Fortunately for Optus, they already own “”)

Comment has been sought from Stay at Home Mum but has not been received at the time of publication.

EFTM has spoken to Jody from Stay at Home Mum and we’re delighted that she has seen fit to correct the error of her ways by gifting the domain names in question to the relevant website operators, and temporarily standing down Chris Gryg.  

 UPDATE: Stay at Home Mum founder Jody has made a public video statement via Facebook – Watch it here



Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
30 Comments on this post.
  • Kate
    18 June 2014 at 10:00 pm
    Leave a Reply

    It was actually Suncorp Insurance who was advertising with SAHM and within hours of this all occur they pulled all their advertising, which is a great win for all the other businesses that have been affected.

  • Marcia
    18 June 2014 at 10:12 pm
    Leave a Reply

    I think that is what it is all about – not illegal, but completely questionable business ethics. More disappointing is the ‘laugh’ that Chris Gryg has had about it … in his position, he should have full comprehension about how quickly the tide can turn. Lesson #10258 … don’t underestimate the power of social media.

  • Beth
    18 June 2014 at 10:19 pm
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    Fantastic article. It really is about ethics and how you conduct yourself.

  • Maire
    18 June 2014 at 10:28 pm
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    Trevor your understanding of the law surrounding domain registrations is wrong. Registering a domain that is close to another business is actually illegal – check out AUDDA regulations and the Trade Practices Act.

    • Trevor Long
      18 June 2014 at 10:37 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Maire, You may be right, but I am not here to create a legal argument. I’m more concerned about the ethics of this. However, it is legal to register a domain that is based on a product or service you offer, in that instance, I think SAHM may have reasonable argument to use the domain – however, ethically – no way

  • Jodie
    18 June 2014 at 10:29 pm
    Leave a Reply

    very well written and explained. Stay at Home Mum will not only loose likes/fans (more than 1,000 people unliked their page in the last 8 hours)…. but they lose advertisers, potential advertisers (thus income) – and more importantly – they lose credibility. For their managing Director to post such a rude tweet is even more concerning. Who would want to be associated with that sort of person/company?

  • Lisa Warren
    18 June 2014 at 10:31 pm
    Leave a Reply

    I am seriously unimpressed with SAHM’s ethics and unliked her page accordingly today. I fully support The Organised Housewife and the 100’s of other small businesses/blogs affected by SAHM’s actions. Shame shame shame.

  • Lisa Boyle
    18 June 2014 at 10:43 pm
    Leave a Reply

    This is an absolute PR disaster for Stay at Home Mum! Apart from acting unethically in the beginning. When this issue first came to light, the business should have first fully investigated the problem and simply state, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are fully investigating the issue. Please feel free to email us directly at ….” The offer of emailing also takes all complaints out of the public forum. But the MD’s tweets are reckless to say the least. Now there’s probably some answering to shareholders to be done as well! #socialmediaPRdisaster

  • lauren southern
    18 June 2014 at 10:55 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Great article on raising the issue of ethics and morals in business! Most times when you report action like these to the ACCC for anticompetitive behaviour they do not act or even investigate. Now small brands can have a voice and have a say through social media with the use of people power.

  • Belinda
    18 June 2014 at 11:01 pm
    Leave a Reply

    It’s always sad to see a mum V mum situation. No one wins.

    • lybliss
      19 June 2014 at 3:22 pm
      Leave a Reply

      This isn’t a Mum V Mum situation , this is a an established business and social media identity ( who happens to be a mother) whose hard work is being undermined by the unethical business practices of another. .

  • Philippa
    18 June 2014 at 11:24 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Great article Trevor. It’s really disappointing to see this kind of thing going on in business.

  • Maire
    18 June 2014 at 11:28 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Trevor, I’ve just been through this exact same thing with my business (and not for the first time). It is illegal, not just unethical. I’m concerned you are giving the wrong legal information out. PLease check out the ICANN and AUDDA regulations regarding domain registrations. A domain needs to be close to and related to your business, and a domain name registration that is a close match or can be confused with an existing business can be passing off and also deceptive and misleading conduct.

    Please note that there is NOTHING new or unusual about this behaviour. Protect your business!
    Check the internet regularly for misappropriation of your brand and pass it straight on to lawyers

  • ballaratforfamilies
    19 June 2014 at 4:54 am
    Leave a Reply

    It’s is remarkably sad when a ‘company’ driven site takes actions like these that affect so many ‘little people’. Mummy bloggers, even the successful ones. have build their brand and businesses alone and deserve support and admiration. Which is what they get in 99 percent of cases here in Australia. Shame on you SAHM. That deleted ‘tweet’ above really seals the deal for me. How rude.

  • Chantelle
    19 June 2014 at 6:37 am
    Leave a Reply

    This has been an absolute train wreck to watch. From purchasing domains in order to ‘borrow’ from the success that others have built, to lay blame on developers when of course there was intent to steal traffic from others.

    The most disgusting behaviour that I’ve seen is that of the MD and the manager of their Facebook page (deleting comments and banning people for merely showing concern) and pretending that it’s all not happening, it’s all just such a hot mess. Who can create a business this way and actually be proud of their practices?

    SAHM was/is a retreat for mums online, which could have been a very supportive haven of information and engagement (although I notice their posts rarely get engagement or comments), and this behaviour is something I’d be sending my kids to the naughty corner for, and definitely not something I’d aspire to.

    I’ll be interested to see what happens from here. I hope that SAHM step up and take accountability for working in such horrible ways, and start running their business in an ethical manner.

    I was so disappointed in the internet yesterday. I need to go and watch some cute kitten videos this morning so all can be redeemed.

    • Yasmin
      19 June 2014 at 8:59 am
      Leave a Reply

      Nailed it – I went to see who wrote it so I could personalise my reply with your name and wasn’t at all surprised to see it was you Chantelle. Success is more than the number of likers or comments. It’s standing tall and being proud of your achievements. No one can be proud of something they didn’t earn.

  • Miriam
    19 June 2014 at 6:38 am
    Leave a Reply

    Great article Trevor. So disappointing that this is happening, especially when SAHM could have had her own loyal, legitimate following from just playing by the rules too.

  • Michelle
    19 June 2014 at 7:27 am
    Leave a Reply

    Good article Trevor. I just wanted to point out regarding your comment on SAHM doing a great job regarding engagement, with over 500 comments on their Facebook post on this topic – they actually deleted a HUGE number of the comments (so 500-odd don’t actually show up) and blocked many commenters from liking or making further comments (myself included). These weren’t posts with swearing or vile content. Just angry citizens expressing their disgust at unethical behaviour. I personally also contacted Uncle Toby’s (Nestle) after my ban from the Facebook page (they advertise on SAHM).

  • Emma
    19 June 2014 at 7:41 am
    Leave a Reply

    Great article – have shared it around. I was on their fb page last night & saw Chris (MD) post an obscene Dr Suess picture in response to people’s comments – which was deleted very quickly along with a lot of other comments. Disgusting & unprofessional behaviour. I have unliked & unsubscribed.

    • Chantelle
      19 June 2014 at 9:19 am
      Leave a Reply

      What was the image? What a tool!

  • kirsty
    19 June 2014 at 8:18 am
    Leave a Reply

    It’s not illegal but very sneaky!! And us stay at home parents don’t care for sNeAky!

  • Bolognase
    19 June 2014 at 8:41 am
    Leave a Reply

    There is actually a whole lot going on here that is illegal… under the current terms of registration for an Australian domain (.au) you actually never own the domain url but purchase a lease of that domain (hence the period, 12 months or 24 months offered). You are prevented to on sell that domain to a third party by the terms of your license. Second, any re-direction of the domain that has been bought to a secondary sight that has no affiliation with the primary domain can be prosecuted under the trade practices act for unlawful and dishonest conduct. Cybersquatting was covered many years ago… this ain’t new… but it also is a little more serious than just “Mummy bloggers fighting” as has been stipulated in your title.

    • Trevor Long
      19 June 2014 at 8:53 am
      Leave a Reply

      Technically correct, but it is actually possible to “sell” a domain, by selling the business that owns it – all depends on the structure of the ownership in this case and others.

    • Mike F.
      19 June 2014 at 9:16 am
      Leave a Reply

      This is not correct. In AU, you can sell a domain so long as the intent to sell it wasn’t the intent when registering as that isn’t allowed. Technically, ALL domains the world over are leased from their countries top-level registrar on a per annum (or in some case per two years).

  • Samantha
    19 June 2014 at 9:06 am
    Leave a Reply

    Thanks for explaining what has happened clearly. If what they have done was truly unintentional it’s too bad that they’re not speaking out to address their (former) fans questions.

  • Bronwyn @ Preschool Mummy
    19 June 2014 at 9:12 am
    Leave a Reply

    Definitely unliking SAHM now, such disappointing behaviour. Move over SAHM and leave the ethical and hardworking mummy bloggers to do their thing.

  • Moderator
    19 June 2014 at 10:32 am
    Leave a Reply

    It has to be illegal to springboard from a business name domain and direct traffic to your own site. A lot of this is morally wrong, yes, but it’s also a legal minefield on many fronts. When you start messing with mums who feel as though they’ve been tricked into this down-home, let’s make it work on one wage, mums helping mums, philosophy, and you’ve got this type of underhanded practices going on behind the scenes, well, the trust is immediately broken. You can buy all the Facebook likes your bank account can afford, but you can’t buy ethics or trust. Here’s a link to an article to show just how Jody Allen, the self-proclaimed “daggy housewife,” is “one” with all the other stay at home mum’s she preaches to….it’s an eye-opener! She’s pulled the wool over the eyes of thousands of trusting mums for far too long!

  • Beris Zanetich
    20 June 2014 at 1:53 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Find out who all the media agencies are who book advertising space on their site and let them know about the online reaction so they can warn off advertisers. Hurting their distribution channels amplifies the effect.

  • Mango
    20 June 2014 at 4:55 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Really appreciated this article – thanks.

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