DotLA Authoring a New Ending

Startup company dotLA this week launches a multifaceted ad campaign with the aim of driving interest in “.la” as an alternative to the nearly ubiquitous “.com” suffix used in Internet addresses.

The effort, centered on the theme “The dawn of a new dot,” is from local shop Fotouhi Alonso Advertising as part of a marketing push valued at more than $12 million. Ads break Jan. 8 in the Los Angeles Times and continue with radio and outdoor ads, as well as a host of ancillary efforts.

Having secured rights to the suffix from the Southeast Asian nation of Laos, dotLA is offering businesses and consumers the chance to secure a Web address ending with “.la”. The arrangement calls for dotLA to share revenue with Laos. (Similarly, the “.tv” suffix now being offered was secured by a separate group of investors who reportedly paid $50 million to the tiny South Pacific nation of Tuvalu for the rights.)

Aside from providing local businesses with URLs that highlight their city, the “.la” suffix is also expected to appeal to those who have been unable to secure a particular “.com” address.

“This is a real big deal,” said agency CEO Faqrida Fotouhi, who said she plans to launch a new Web site for her agency. “DotLA is offering a whole new top-level domain. We have developed a campaign that reflects the L.A. attitude.”

Guy Rosbrook, chief operating officer of dotLA, said he selected the agency because of its track record in traditional and Web advertising.