Clutter Tolerance: The Public DOES Have a Limit, After All

As advertising has continued to pop up in areas that were formerly ad-free — supermarket conveyor belts and airline tray tables come to mind — I’ve often wondered where the line is. At what point will people just refuse to allow any more clutter?

The City of Galveston, TX, in partnership with Frito-Lay, inadvertently stepped over the line not long ago. According to the Houston Chronicle, Frito-Lay offered to donate $1 million to repair Fort Crockett Park in Galveston. Grateful city officials agreed to rename the park “Sun Chips Park at Fort Crockett.”

The public objected furiously, Frito-Lay backed off, and the space will remain Fort Crockett Park. The company was smart enough to let the city keep the money.

So if you’re mapping out the line, note that renaming a stadium or arena for a corporation is on the acceptable side. Renaming an iconic city park is not.

It’s worth noting, as an aside, that my 50th birthday is coming up in January, and Portland Trail Blazers officials have indicated that they’d be willing to consider selling naming rights to the Rose Garden Arena. If any of you would like to pay to rename it “The PhilDome”, I wouldn’t object.


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2 thoughts on “Clutter Tolerance: The Public DOES Have a Limit, After All

  1. Now that the lines are blurred now maybe its time to partake. I think I will buy a bench in the park by my house. Yeah, only if I can put my ad on it like a bus stop. I am impressed with the guy that negotiated this deal. Bravo! He deserved a raise. Meanwhile the guy that took the deal…?

    Great blog…keep it up!~

  2. It’s a desperate land grab for marketers to own stuff in the public eye. They’ll be after words next, with the help of those crazy judges who grant patents to pharma companies for every gene under the sun. In fact I have it on good authority that Microsoft is trying to patent the word ‘new’. Soon we’ll have to spell it New(R)TM with a footnote: New(R)TM is a registered trademark of Microsoft(R)TM. Use it without attribution and we’ll switch off your broadband and reduce your Bing ranking to zero.