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Attention Hoteliers -
Beware Of Virus Worms Spreading Through Free URL Shortening Services

PARSIPPANY, NJ , January 24, 2011 - Lodging Interactive, an award winning Interactive and Social Media Marketing Agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, today cautioned hoteliers to not use links generated from free URL shorting services in their marketing materials or their websites. 

“Last year we cautioned hoteliers to not use links generated from free URL shortening services in their marketing as these links were increasingly being blocked and filtered out by companies as a result of the rampant abuse, rendering them ineffective,” stated Mr. DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & President. “McAfee® LabsTM recently released their 2011 Threats Predictions report which support our views on why hoteliers should not use the free URL shortening services.”

The McAfee Labs report states, “We see a growing number of these (free shortening URL services) used for spam, scamming and other malicious purposes.” The report goes on to say, “The trouble and abuse follows because users do not know where these shortened links actually lead until the click them.”

Click here to download the free 2001 Threats Predictions report by McAfee Labs.

Free Link Shortening Services Provide No Support for Hotels -

If the aforementioned security concerns don't convince you that free link shortening services are risky, maybe our next point will. What happens to all those free links your created if the free service is "down" or out of business? Who do you call...can you call anyone, or do you have to rely on emailing support? In the meantime, those free short links you created are in your printed ads, emails and in online Twitter, YouTube and Facebook posts! This has all happened before, and it's not pretty. Read: TinyURL Outage Illustrates the Service's Risk. Read: + TinyURL = Fail.

Other Reasons to Never Use Free Link Shortening Services -

  • There is no branding. When you see a TinyURL your are clicking blindly. You have no idea what kind of website you're being taken to;
  • Links are forgettable! How do you remember a link like this:;
  • No control over the URL shortening service. Do you trust TinyURL? How long might they be around? What happens if they have a massive data outage tomorrow and all your URLs go to 404 error?

The Right Way For Hotels to Create Short Links - enables hotels to effectively and safely create short marketing links and to build online brand equity. More specifically, Link2Brand:

    • is a paid service, thereby eliminating all spam or phishing activities;
    • offers unique branding opportunities with over 20 selectable relevant domain names that relate to hotels and every link created includes the hotel's name;
    • provides real-time click tracking on all links created, enabling link ROI analysis;
    • enables auto-expiring links, which automatically become disabled on a pre-set date managed by the hotel;
    • offers hoteliers an online dashboard to organize and manage all links created;
    • enables the creation of sub-users for each hotel account, allowing for multiple users to share one account;
    • is supported by Lodging Interactive, a multi-million dollar hospitality focused interactive agency.
"Hundreds of hotels worldwide are doing it right and leveraging the power of in their marketing and communications," said Mr. DJ Vallauri. "Furthermore, is a great tool for hotels to use to promote loyalty amongst local businesses and organizations." 

Hotel Sales & Marketing Directors can also use to create vanity URL links specifically for local corporate accounts to book reservations without having to remember booking codes or SRP codes.

Interested hoteliers can try Link2Brand for free by visiting
About Lodging Interactive

Lodging Interactive, headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, is an award winning leading provider of Internet Marketing Services to the hospitality, spa and restaurant industries. The company provides a portfolio of effective hotel Internet marketing services to hundreds of hotels, resorts, ownership properties, spas and restaurants. Clients include branded hotels from nearly every major brand as well as prestigious, landmark independent hotels.

Through its CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Agency operating division, the Company offers hospitality focused and fully managed outsourced hotel social media marketing customized solutions.

Lodging Interactive is an award winning interactive marketing agency and has been recognized as a leader by the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Web Marketing Association and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards.

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). For more information contact Richard Walsh, Vice President of Business Development at or at 877-291-4411. The company’s website is located at


Richard Walsh 
Vice President of Business Development

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Also See: CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive Introduces Its Social Media Connector Toolbar for Hotels / January 2011

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Lodging Interactive Recognized by International Academy of Visual Arts / November 2010

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Lodging Interactive Captures Multiple Web Site Design Awards From Web Marketing Association / October 2010

Lodging Interactive Wins Design Honors at 2010 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, Winning Multiple Design Awards / September 2010

Chatter Guard Social Media Monitor Report - August 2010 - Is Released / September 2010

Link2Brand Empowers Branded Hotels To Manage Their Own Marketing Campaigns – No Website Needed / September 2010

Guest Satisfaction - July 2010 Chatter Guard Benchmark Report Is Released /August 2010

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CoMMingle Offers Free Social Media Marketing Audit / July 2010

Full Service Social Media Marketing Agency For Hospitality Is Launched / June 2010

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A Whole Lot of Like: What Facebook's "Like" Button Can do For Hospitality Brands / May 2010

Guest Satisfaction - April 2010 Chatter Guard Benchmark Report Is Released / May 2010

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Lodging Interactive Launches Chatter Guard Lite Social Media Sentiment Monitoring For Hotels / April 2010

Guest Satisfaction - February 2010 Chatter Guard Benchmark Report Is Released / March 2010

WARNING TO HOTELS... Don't Use Free Link Shortening Services in Your Marketing / March 2010

Lodging Interactive Enables ROI tracking of Facebook & Twitter Hotel Bookings / February 2010

Measuring Your Hotel's Online Reputation By Service Attributes / February 2010

Hotel Social Media Perspective / February 2010

Hotels Book More Government Business With Innovative Link2Brand Service / January 2010 

Guest Satisfaction - December 2009 Chatter Guard Benchmark Report Is Released / January 2010

Google Real Time Search Integration & Hotel Social Media Marketing / January 2010

Why Your Hotel Should NEVER USE TinyURL to Redirect Links / December 2009

Guest Satisfaction - October 2009 Chatter Guard Benchmark Report Is Released / November 2009

Lodging Interactive Offers Turn-Key Mobile Websites For Hotels / November 2009

How to Handle Google Maps Mixups / October 2009

Guest Satisfaction - September 2009 Chatter Guard Benchmark Report Is Released / October 2009

Introducing: CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Agency for Hospitality / September 2009

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