Spam similarity forces IT services firm to change name

Xannax becomes XWL because of confusion with the drug Xanax

The Wellington-based IT services firm Xannax has changed its name to XWL, due to the similarity with the word “Xanax”; the name for an antidepressant drug commonly sold over the internet and often hawked by spammers.

In a statement announcing the change, XWL business development manager Andrew Thompson-Davies says, “When we originally came up with the name Xannax, to us it was simply a catchy palindrome that stood out a bit from the crowd with, we thought, no real-world associations or connotations.

“But move ahead a decade or so, and we discover that the word xannax is now being treated as a spam keyword by the world’s spam filtering systems.

Several years ago the firm changed its domain name from xannax.co.nz to xwl.co.nz. However, the continuing problem of spam filters picking up on the use of the word “xannax” in the body of emails, meant a complete name change has proved necessary, Thompson-Davies says.

The company has also had a new logo designed to go with the new name.

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