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Wellington company rebrand to avoid spam trap
Posted on 11-Jul-2011 14:24. | Tags Filed under: News.

XWL is an independent NZ owned company that has been providing IT services and support to businesses in New Zealand from its Wellington headquarters since 1993.

The company says a lot has changed in IT in that time, not the least of which has been the massive explosion in the use of email, and unfortunately, in the volume and impact of spam.

The company name has become a victim of that rise of spam. When they originally came up with the name “xannax”, it was simply a catchy palindrome that stood out a bit from the crowd, with no real-world associations or connotations.

A decade later, and the word “xannax” is now being treated as a spam keyword by the world’s spam filtering systems. This is because the word “xannax” is only one letter different from an anti-depressant drug that is “marketed” by spammers.

The impact on business and customers has been that increasingly emails being sent out are trapped by spam filters and thus don’t get delivered – purely because of the “xannax” spam word issue.

To alleviate this problem, a few years back the company changed its Internet presence, including domain name and email addresses from to This helped, but unfortunately has not proved to be a complete solution. Whenever we or our customers use the word “xannax” in the text of an email, it is still at risk of being blocked by the spam filters.

To fix this, the company is rebranding as XWL. They plan to stop using the words “XannaX Works”, and instead refer to themselves in all marketing and public facing information as XWL.

Over the next few months the company will be working to update all their public facing information with the new XWL name and logo, and re-training to say “xwl” instead of “xannax”.

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