DIARY: Kansas parents cash in by naming kid after a dot-com

And we thought those logo-wrapped cars were bad.

And we thought those logo-wrapped cars were bad.

And we thought those logo-wrapped cars were bad.

Claiming it had launched ’a new era of music promotion,’ a Silicon

Valley dot-com (who else?) has given dollars 5,000 to a Hutchinson, KS

couple who named their newborn son ’Iuma’ - the acronym for the

company’s name, Internet Underground Music Archive. Iuma Dylan-Lucas

Thornhill thus became the first to cash in on the Redwood City, CA-based

company’s ’Name Your Baby Iuma’ contest, which promised dollars 5,000 in

cash or a lifetime’s worth of free IUMA goodies to families willing to

burden their newborn with the moniker.

Travis Thornhill, the child’s 22-year-old father, says he took it as ’a

sign’ when he stumbled across the contest on the IUMA Web site the day

his wife, Jessica, was scheduled to give birth.

’The child’s grandma said this baby would bring prosperity, and this

contest could be what she was talking about,’ Thornhill quips. ’Plus,

the kid will have a cool story when he grows up.’

Just like the media had a cool story to cover. According to IUMA.com

spokesperson Pamela Johnson, everyone from Time to the AP bit on the

bait, and the company scored more than 50 TV spots and at least 25 daily

newspaper hits within days of the August 16 press release.

IUMA.com’s PR ploy may have worked too well, though. Once the news got

out, hundreds of prospective parents from countries as far away as

Lebanon and Brazil flooded the company with baby submissions. Lucky for

all those third-grade teachers out there, IUMA.com quickly changed its

tune, limiting its offer to ’the first 10 babies named Iuma born between

August 1 and November 1, 2000. Guess Iuma won’t be pushing Sarah or Jack

off the top of the charts anytime soon.

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