PDA

View Full Version : Branding in New York Is Just the Beginning



Fabb
April 6th, 2003, 07:05 AM
April 6, 2003

Branding in New York Is Just the Beginning

By N. R. KLEINFIELD

Once you wrap your mind around it, the possibilities just keep coming. For instance, line up a sponsor for each of the city schools. P.S. Lipton Chicken Noodle. I.S. Krispy Kreme. The Abercrombie & Fitch High School of Science.

Granted, Times Square already possesses an estimable name, but couldn't everyone get used to Heinz Square?

And who says we've got to keep calling Brooklyn Brooklyn? Think about it. If Anheuser-Busch agrees to come up with the big money, would it be so terrible to rename the borough Budweiser?

These tentative ruminations were inescapable after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Wednesday appointed New York's first chief marketing officer, a young man named Joseph M. Perello. His job, monumental in scope, will be to offer the city and its contents and inimitable mystique as a brand available for corporate purchase. In other words, the city, needing ready cash, will go about selling its outsized cachet roughly the way the N.B.A. sells the N.B.A. or Nascar sells Nascar. This potentially means a flurry of city trademarks, city-blessed products, corporate names engraved on New York infrastructure. At last, somebody really might be able to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

The mayor, in delineating the appointment, was insistent that the city would approach this in a tasteful, albeit remunerative, manner. He specifically ruled out erecting a Coca-Cola sign above City Hall. He indicated that he was not eager to rename the city's landmarks. No need to worry about walking the dog in J. P. Morgan Chase Central Park. But an Alpo Dog Run near the Metamucil Boat Basin could make the cut.

At this formative stage, there's really no telling where this concept will lead. Meanwhile, New York is rampant with marketing whizzes, creative brains that churn out 30 ideas a second. They ought to know fruitful ways to sell the place.

What about the New York Seal of Approval? That's the contribution of Richard Kirshenbaum, the co-chairman of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. "What I would do is create an official New York Seal of Approval," he said. "Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, it would be an actual seal that would play to New York's strengths and also the strengths of the product. Everyone knows that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

Appropriate products that can make it here could receive endorsements from city agencies. "So the strongest Hefty garbage bag will get the seal from the New York Sanitation Department," Mr. Kirshenbaum said. "And the S.U.V. that locks its doors quickest or that can go over the deepest potholes gets the seal of approval from the Transportation Department."

Naturally, there would have to be a rigorous review panel that would test the products to certify that they are worthy of the New York seal, Mr. Kirshenbaum said. If New York gives its blessing to a lightweight iron, the thing better do some job on wrinkles. Mr. Kirshenbaum thinks the seal would attract enormous interest. "You could have the official deodorant of New York, that works even in the subway," he said. "It would be great if there was an official New York condom."

Patrick O'Neill, group creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day, hashed out some ideas with his team. They liked the notion of subbranding the city by its neighborhoods, so perfumes could be named after SoHo and Flatbush and East New York, not to mention the boroughs themselves. He could already smell Staten Island Seabreeze. He imagined neighborhood-branded candies. There could be a new M & M's product with each color named for a New York neighborhood.

He thought the city should collect money for product placement at prominent events. Beverage companies — Evian, Bud Light — could bid for what drink Mayor Bloomberg would sip during news conferences.

He proposed a city credit card that earns its bearer points toward free theater tickets or meals when used at city establishments. (It could be used, too, to pay parking tickets, worth bonus points). Also a series of short books known as the "Hurry Up and Wait Reading Series," including a title for the subway, one for waiting in lines, another for sitting in a car while working the alternate side of the street parking shuffle. And a New York CD that has D.J.'s mix ambient sounds of the city: the last-call bar brawl, a five-alarm fire, the randy couple next door, a car alarm.

No real reason to bring up the mayor's peevish attitude toward smoking, but when you need money, you need money. Keith Reinhard, the chairman of DDB Worldwide, offered that when the city builds its next sports stadium, it ought to name it Philip Morris Field or the Marlboro Dome. "Charge smokers for seats," he said, "even when there's no game. Smoking would not only be allowed, it would be encouraged."

Justin Rohrlich, a freelance copy writer, had enough ideas to keep the new marketing officer content for months. Recognizing that the mayor is ticklish about renaming Central Park or City Hall, Mr. Rohrlich suggested that he introduce the concept subtly. "Begin by renaming Gracie Mansion `Macy Mansion' and mumble it when speaking," he wrote in an e-mail message. "No mentions to be made in any print media for at least six months."

He recommended that the city should not limit itself to renaming places. "Bloomberg should let sponsors rename administration officials as well for the right price," he wrote. "Imagine Tylenol Scoppetta running the Fire Department." He pointed out the obvious, that having Bloomberg L.P. sponsor Mayor Bloomberg "would result in an extremely smooth transition process."

Other ideas from Mr. Rohrlich: require royalties to be paid on all shout-outs to any of the five boroughs of the city in rap lyrics: "This would include, but would not be limited to: Run-DMC's references to Hollis, Queens; Nas's use of `Queensbridge Houses,' which would become the intellectual property of the New York City Housing Authority; and Jay-Z's constant mentions of Brooklyn and the Marcy Projects."

And why stop at the living? Bill the dead. He urged the new marketing chief to chase down the descendants of people whose names already grace city infrastructure and who have, in Mr. Rohrlich's words, "been taking the city for a free publicity ride for years." He suggested the F.D.R. Drive, George Washington Bridge and Madison Avenue as good places to start: "Demand retroactive fees for all those years they've had stuff named after them for free. If they don't like it, tough. Rename it."

The Police Department is famous, so milk it. As he pointed out, "There are 76 police precincts in New York City. That's 76 opportunities to earn money." He suggested having the 19th Precinct, covering the Silk Stocking District, sponsored by Hanes, and the First Precinct, in TriBeCa, sponsored by Robert De Niro, "like everything else in the neighborhood."

On and on flowed his notions: mow corporate logos into the Great Lawn and Sheep Meadow. Sell diplomats' parking spots to collection agencies. Have the hidden cameras to catch drivers running red lights be sponsored by Kodak, "who could offer the accused, along with the ticket, a selection of different-size prints and blow-ups of their car going through the intersection." Co-brand the key to the city with Medeco.

"Look at all the potential being squandered by limiting toll booths strictly to toll collection," he wrote. "Jack in the Box has never effectively cracked the Northeast. Why not partner with them and add a drive-through food element to all tollbooths. Jack in the Box enters a new market, the city taps a new profit center and drivers are fed. Everybody wins."

Paul Cappelli, the president of the Ad Store, took some time out with his team, while on a shoot in Los Angeles, to work on some concepts. He saw value in selling the city's intersections. "Most companies market themselves where such and such meets such and such," he said. "Like `where fashion meets hip-hop.' " So why not sell where 42nd Street meets Broadway? Sell the actual pavement at intersections for advertising.

He felt it made sense to market the rights to the Walk/Don't Walk illuminated crosswalk signs. Instead of flashing "Walk" when it was time to walk, they could simply flash "Nike."
"We could sell New York humor to Canada Dry," he said. "Now here's one good for all New Yorkers. Get someone to fix the New York subway sound system and then they can sponsor it. Bose. Pioneer. Sony. Whoever can do it."

He had a few renamings he felt good about: Bic Penn Station; eBay Ridge, Brooklyn; Circuit City Hall; Eveready Battery Park. "Bring back the Polo Grounds," he said. "but call it the Ralph Lauren Polo Grounds." On the product front, he mentioned free-range alligator meat and companion gator products from the New York City sewer system. And he saw a nice fit in licensing the yellow of city cabs to Sherwin-Williams as an important new color.

Nobody ought to be left out of the opportunity to hand the city money. For smaller businesses, he proposed allowing them to adopt a city pothole. "It would be great for dentists," he said. "You know, this pothole was filled by Dr. Rosenberg."


Copyright 2003*The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
April 6th, 2003, 08:46 AM
Make sure the signs are removable. Enron Field is now Minute Maid Field.

What if Georgia-Pacific sponsors a certain Bronx arena?
The Dixie Yankee Stadium?

A few years ago on April 1, a neighborhood paper ran a story that Duracell was going to help finance the Battery Park renovation, and it would be renamed Duracell Battery Park.
New park benches would be called recharging stations.
The paper was flooded with letters and emails.

Fabb
April 6th, 2003, 01:16 PM
Duracell Battery Park.

Good one !

Fabb
May 1st, 2003, 09:51 AM
New York City will begin selling a commodity it doesn’t own: its good name

By Gersh Kuntzman
NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL

May 5 issue — New York City was founded on cash. While other cities arose where settlers happened to end up—or where some king decided to start a kingdom—New York came about in 1626 because a Dutch guy named Peter Minuit gave $24 worth of beads, axes, jew’s-harps, hoes, awls and cloth to the local Lenape Indians. In exchange he got Manhattan.

THE MYTHIC DEAL has long figured in New Yorkers’ swaggering self-confidence. We got this place for a mere $24! Now it’s worth trillions! But I’ve always had a different interpretation. It wasn’t the Dutch who got the great deal; it was the Lenape. Native Americans didn’t “own” land, strictly speaking. As they saw it, the deal allowed them to walk off with valuable trinkets—yet surrender nothing. It was the New World’s first big con.

* * * * The ghost of the Lenape haunted city hall the other day, when Mayor Mike Bloomberg became the first mayor to accept my interpretation of New York’s founding myth. Strapped for cash, he let it be known that, henceforth, the city would begin selling a commodity it doesn’t own: its good name.

* * * * Officially, Bloomberg was announcing the hiring of the city’s first-ever chief marketing officer. His job? To “aggressively market all of our competitive advantages and centralize them into a comprehensive value proposition to corporate sponsors and build a consistent brand.”

* * * * Understand? Don’t worry, nobody else did. Apparently, the mayor hopes to “sell” corporations the right to affiliate themselves with a New York City landmark. In other words, a famous soft-drink manufacturer could put up $10 million to plant trees. In return, the city would install a plaque that reads WELCOME TO THE TROPICANA GROVE. Actually, New York has been doing this for years. Some time ago, for instance, the Central Park Children’s Zoo was officially renamed the Tisch Children’s Zoo, after the rich guy who funded its renovation. More recently came the phenomenon of patronymic subdivision. An example is a two-foot-long walkway in the zoo called the Robert Wood Johnson Children’s Bridge. C’mon, the guy was a pharmaceuticals bazillionaire! He needs a miniature bridge, too?

* * * * With New York heading into its worst fiscal crisis ever, Bloomberg clearly needs money. His latest “doomsday” budget cuts thousands of police officers, closes firehouses, reduces trash pickups and shuts senior centers, zoos and public pools. That means the mayor’s new marketing whiz, like Iraq’s former Information minister, will no doubt be forced into even more outlandish sales pitches:

* * * * Zoo animals wandering through the city because no one is minding their cages? That’s not a crisis, he will announce. It’s Safari-land New York!

* * * * No after-school programs? Those aren’t packs of kids marauding all over the city, it’s the first-ever citywide game of capture the flag!

* * * *More homeless on the streets? No, they’re not homeless; they’re merely taking advantage of New York’s wealth of beautiful campgrounds!

* * * * Bigger classes in public schools? No problem. Remember, “it takes a village to raise a child.”

* * * * No new textbooks? Who needs new textbooks? After all, Francis Fukuyama said we have reached the end of history.

* * * * No more express bus service? Call it “The Manhattan Diet”!
* * * * No summer pools? Another innovative tourism strategy! Let the kids open the fire hydrants and flood the streets. Welcome to Venice on the Hudson!

* * * * The Lenape would be proud.
* * * *
* * * *© 2003 Newsweek, Inc.

dbhstockton
May 1st, 2003, 12:40 PM
Not just Times Square, but also Herald Square were both named after private corporations a long time ago.

As a New Jerseyean, I would hate to see this plague spread to NYC. *We have to live with the "Continental Airlines Arena" and "PNC Bank Arts Center," and I do not wish it upon anyone else. *Surely New York is big enough to rise above this terrible trend of the 1990's.

Actually I don't mind, as long as it has a ring to it. * I'd prefer the names of donors to the names of soulless corporations -- it sounds better and has a long tradition to it.

It also should be emphasized that Bloomberg has a broader idea. *Just like now you can buy the official basketball of the NBA, or whatever, you will soon be able to buy the official mousepad, or whatever, of the City of New York. *Merchandizing, baby! *It's a goldmine!

Lightning Homer
May 3rd, 2003, 05:45 AM
Let'em purchase the name of the streets. I don't mind to nickname the 5th Avenue "Duff Avenue" (buuuurp) !

The city could make a lot of $$$$ this way and it wouldn't hurt, IMO.

But rename schools, bridges or parcs, I think it's crazy. It will lower the value of the city, just because people would hate to live like that.

The loss would be as big as the income.

If you want you factory's name on something, just build it !

Who built that wonderful Chrysler Building, afterall ?

TLOZ Link5
May 3rd, 2003, 02:23 PM
The Ambercrombie & Fitch High School of Science?

Oh, God help us all...

Kris
September 10th, 2003, 08:44 AM
September 10, 2003

New York Picks Its Beverage, for $166 Million

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

For the right price, the Big Apple is happy to be called the Big Snapple.

Under a five-year $166 million deal announced yesterday, Snapple, the beverage company that claims its drinks are made from the best stuff on earth, and New York City, which claims to be the capital of the world, are uniting to promote each other. Snapple is now an official beverage of the city.

Most immediately, the venture will give Snapple exclusive rights to place vending machines in the city's 1,200 public schools. And starting on Jan. 1, the deal will extend to other city properties, including office buildings, police stations and even sanitation depots.

In return, Snapple will guarantee to pay the schools at least $8 million a year for five years. Under other parts of the deal, Snapple is expected to pay the city about $13 million a year, based on sales. And it will spend $12 million a year on advertising that also promotes the city.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg described the arrangement as unprecedented for a city of New York's size. The deal is the first to be brokered since he hired a chief marketing officer for the city in April.

The mayor has long insisted that New York City is not just an important megalopolis but a powerful brand name with strong revenue potential. And Joseph M. Perello, the chief marketing officer, said the Snapple deal was just the beginning.

"Snapple will become the official iced tea and water," Mr. Perello said, leaving open the possibility that one day the city would have an official cola, or flavored tonic. "This is the start of a select number of really high-quality partnerships."

Whether a partnership with a beverage company will actually encourage tourism and promote economic development or simply expand Snapple's market share among the municipal work force is anyone's guess.

As part of the deal, Snapple is developing four new 100 percent juice drinks — Green Apple, Orange Mango, Grape and Fruit Punch — to comply with the city's recent ban of soda, candy and other sugary snacks from school vending machines. Even though Snapple plans to sell 100 percent juice drinks, that does not necessarily mean slimmer waistlines for schoolchildren. Like soft drinks, many fruit juices provide calories from sugar and not much else. And while fruit contains at least some fiber, it is usually lost when the fruit is turned into juice.

"I think most nutritionists would say that if you have to drink something that comes in a can, Snapple is probably as good as you can get and they are also vending water," Mr. Bloomberg said. "You have to have something healthy, but you also have to have something that kids want to drink."

To be the Education Department's exclusive vendor, Snapple will pay the city a 30-cent commission on each $1 can of juice or water sold in schools. (Iced tea will not be sold in the schools.) In addition, the company will pay $3 per case sold to support school athletics, for a total of at least $3 million a year. Some of the money will go directly to schools, many of which rely on vending machines to support athletic teams and other programs.

When the ban on sweets was imposed last spring, some principals said the financial loss would be crippling. The mayor said that each school would get at least as much money as it did last year in vending revenues.

Mr. Bloomberg announced the deal on the athletic field at John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx, with a bright-orange Snapple vending machine and the high school's football team standing behind him.

"It is my pleasure today to announce the first official corporate-marketing partnership the city has established," he said. "Given the global popularity of Snapple products, this will present the city with countless new opportunities to make positive impressions on people around the world."

Outside the schools, Snapple will sell bottled water, iced tea and Yoo-hoo chocolate drink. Vending machines in other city buildings selling non-Snapple products will eventually be replaced, but contractual obligations may limit how quickly that changeover can take place. Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said that a primary goal was to help Snapple boost business. "The corporate partner has to recognize benefits in terms of its ability to grow sales," he said, "and we certainly hope that for Snapple that's the way this will work." Mr. Doctoroff and other officials described the deal as generous on Snapple's part, and said that the company, now a division of Cadbury Schweppes, had a special loyalty to the city because it was founded in Brooklyn.

Jack Belsito, the president of the Snapple Beverage Group, echoed this. "New York City loves Snapple," he said. "Snapple loves New York City, its pretty much as simple as that."

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said the deal would help the school system maintain nutritional standards. "We are going to make sure that the fat and sugar content is diminished," he said. "And there's no purpose to try to do that if we don't have a beverage program that's consistent."

Mr. Perello said that the Education Department had met with several beverage companies before selecting Snapple. A bidding process was not required, he said.

Some beverage companies, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have faced criticism for marketing aggressively to schools and for their efforts to lock school districts into exclusive contracts. In response to growing opposition in schools to sugary soft drinks, Coke recently introduced a milk-based beverage called Swerve, specifically aimed at school-age children.

Designating an official beverage is a growing trend among cities. San Diego, for example, is paid more than $1.5 million a year to sell only Pepsi products on city grounds. A similar deal between Oakland and Coca-Cola has so far proved disappointing, with the city making far less than expected. New York State's official beverage is milk but is not tied to any particular brand.

Yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg dismissed a question about whether it was appropriate to promote the Snapple brand in schools.

"We already have vending machines in every school," he said. "They have other brand names on them. So that's a bridge that has long ago been crossed and I don't think in this day and age we can take the vending machines or should out of the schools."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
September 17th, 2003, 08:52 AM
September 17, 2003

The Snapple Deal: How Sweet It Is

By MARIAN BURROS

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/09/17/dining/17snap.184.jpg
SCHOOL SUPPLIES This can holds about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

THEY banished soda from school vending machines, calling it nothing but empty calories and tooth-rotting sugar. They brought in Snapple with the promise of healthier, all-juice drinks for students — and $8 million a year to city school coffers.

Problem is, the new drinks have even more calories and sugar, and are marginally better than soda only because Snapple has added vitamins and trace amounts of other nutrients.

An 11.5-ounce container of the new Snapple has 160 or 170 calories and the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 40 or 41 grams. A 12-ounce Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar.

As part of a five-year $166 million deal that made Snapple New York City's official beverage, the company won the right to sell these new all-juice blends, called Snapple 100% Juiced!, and bottled water in public school vending machines. The blends — Green Apple, Orange Mango, Grape and Fruit Punch — were created to meet rules that ban soda, candy and other sugary snacks from being sold in the schools.

Most people think of juice as wholesome, healthy, and certainly harmless, and some juices — particularly orange and grapefruit — have a fair number of vitamins and nutrients. But other than the three vitamins and one mineral that have been added to Snapple juice blends, critics say there is little nutritional difference between them and non-caffeinated sodas.

The main ingredients in the drinks, besides water, are concentrates of apple, grape or pear, according to label information provided by Snapple. These are three of the least nutritious fruits and the least expensive concentrates.

Nutritionists have long cautioned that children should not drink more than 4 to 12 ounces of juice a day, depending on their age, because it has a lot of sugar and calories without the fiber found in whole fruit and, with the exception of orange and grapefruit juice, not much else.

"The new Snapple drinks are a little better than vitamin-fortified sugar water because the juices may provide low levels of some additional nutrients," said Dr. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition advocacy group that frequently criticizes the food industry.

Dr. Jacobson said the juice drinks may have some phytonutrients, antioxidants that may protect against cancer, "but it's not like giving the kids conventional orange juice or grapefruit juice."

"The fact is, they are vitamin fortified and they don't have caffeine, but they are still pretty much the same as a 12-ounce Coke," he said.

Twelve ounces of pure orange juice has about nine teaspoons of sugar and about 160 calories but contains 100 percent of adult daily requirements for vitamin C, 10 percent of folic acid and 2 percent of calcium and other nutrients.

The Snapple drinks are fortified with 10 percent of the requirement of vitamin A, 100 percent of vitamin C, 20 percent vitamin D and 10 percent calcium. Smita Patel, vice president for research and development at Snapple, says she disagrees with the criticism. "The fortification makes the juices nutrient-dense," she said.

Steve Jarmon, Snapple's vice president for partner marketing and community ventures, said the company has done what the city's departments of education and health asked them to do. "We are providing kids with two healthy alternatives," Mr. Jarmon said, "so if the parents don't feel like this 100 percent juice product is right for their child they can give their kids water."

Marty Oestreicher, chief executive of school support services in the city's Education Department, said the drinks are much better than what had been available.

"We had nutritionists who served on our team who put the standards together, and they said 100 percent fruit juice drinks were a major improvement over what is available today, and they feel they're appropriate," Mr. Oestreicher said. "Anything less than 100 percent fruit juice or anything with artificial flavoring or artificial coloring or artificial sweeteners was not acceptable."

Fern Estrow, a registered dietitian and nutrition educator in New York City, said the city schools should be offering low-fat milk and apples in the vending machines instead of these juices.

Mr. Oestreicher said he is not sure whether milk will be available in the machines.

Ms. Estrow is also concerned that exposure to the Snapple logo will persuade students to drink the company's other beverages, most of which are about 10 percent juice and have no added vitamins. "Kids don't know the difference," she said. "Snapple carries a huge product line of basically sugar water."

Mr. Oestreicher disagrees. "We believe our students will be able to distinguish between Snapple drinks once they leave the school," he said.

Dr. Toni Liquori, an associate professor at Columbia Teachers College and director of nutrition services at the Community Food Resource Center, which promotes access to nutritious foods, said she doesn't know why children are being asked to pay for water.

"If anything, we should have cold water in our schools," Dr. Liquori said. "Water is a right; New York City is supposed to have the best water and we're asking them to pay $1 for it?"


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Kris
September 24th, 2003, 12:52 AM
September 24, 2003

PUBLIC LIVES

He Loves New York. That's Why He's Selling It.

By ROBIN FINN

ANYBODY thirsty? In Joseph M. Perello's office suite, there's Snapple by the caseload. After all, drinking the stuff is tantamount to a civic duty now that Snapple is paying for the privilege of being the official un-cola of New York City.

The way Mr. Perello, the city's first chief marketing officer, sizes things up from his generic new office at 1 Liberty Plaza, all of New York City is a brand. A brand deserving of deep-pocketed sponsors. A hot commodity that, according to one survey of the universe's most desirable brand names, clocks in at an enviable, infinitely marketable 13th out of 2,300. Imagine the possibilities; he sure has — everything from the official footgear of the Police Department to the official undergarments of the Fire Department.

Think big and blush boyishly: That's the M.O. of Mr. Perello, 35, a gregarious, immaculately groomed go-getter with prior sales coups like one million N.F.L.-affinity credit card accounts at MBNA America and the doubling of Yankees sponsorship revenues. All delivered with a perpetual smile; not even working in a skyscraper next to ground zero gets him down. "Exactly the opposite!" he says. "It fires me up." That and the caffeine in his diet Snapple iced tea.

With a target of $50 million in annual revenue from 10 to 12 corporate sponsors — one deal done, a second pending — he predicts he'll be ahead of schedule by the end of 2004. Piece of cake! Reminds him of the time at Delta Tau Delta when, trading on his University of Delaware fraternity's obnoxious reputation, he cooked up a vat of chocolate pudding, poured it into pie shells and charged passers-by $5 for the privilege of slamming pies into frat-boy faces. He raked in $500 for charity in less than three hours; he fondly recalls it as his first lesson in capitalizing on a brand.

Now he is in a $150,000-a-year government job with an unprecedented mission: solicit corporate sponsors for city agencies and city functions, and develop proprietary city trademarks.

"Certainly New York City is a brand, and it's a damn good one!" proclaims Mr. Perello, whose every utterance is accompanied by a flurry of arm-waving and the flash of his gold signet ring — the Perello family crest from Naples, Italy. "You know that joke: `How do you get an Italian guy to shut up? Get him to sit on his hands.' Well, that's me," he says, sitting on them. Briefly.

But back to his favorite brand, the one he idolized growing up in the suburbs just west of the city in Belleville, N.J. "We're not in the business of changing the brand — the city's arguably perfect," he says. "What we're doing is reinventing the way a corporation views a municipality. We're trying to capture, and quantify, the emotions this city inspires.

"That's what your goal is if you're a brand: Become more emotional, because emotional attachment demands a premium price." Uh-huh; must be why those monthly car payments move us to tears.

That's Mr. Perello's pet theory: the brand as an emotional property. He sold Mitch Modell of Modell's Sporting Goods on it, and Mr. Modell was so floored that he recommended Mr. Perello to Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff for the city marketing post (without telling Mr. Perello). This spring Mr. Perello closed down Perello & Company, the marketing and consulting firm he ran after a muddled foray into UltraStar, David Bowie's online fan sites, and hopped aboard the city brand-wagon.

AND now, a word about that first corporate sponsor, Snapple, which will ante up $166 million — at the very least, interjects Mr. Perello — over the next five years as the city's official water, juice and iced tea, and sole supplier of vending machine beverages to its schools.

"It's a no-brainer!" he says. "It solves a nutritional problem and brings cash to the city. Who can argue with that?" Some have, but Mr. Perello, who lives on the Upper West Side with his wife and son and devotes his spare time to renovating a multifamily house he owns in New Jersey, expected some naysaying.

Which brings us to these words on his wall: What does not kill me makes me stronger. What's with that?

"Just a quote," says Mr. Perello, forgetting to give copyright credit to Nietzsche. But why? Is his dream job a hard job? "Because this is New York City. It's a tough place. But if you live by that mantra, you can almost deal with anything. Like the media. Like George Steinbrenner." (Mr. Perello, the Yankees' vice president for business development from 1997 to 2000, was twice fired and rehired — de rigueur for Yankees personnel.)

"I know we're going to be under the microscope in this office," he says. "It's like, when I worked for George Steinbrenner, I could walk into his office with a suitcase full of a million dollars, and he'd complain if it was in twenties and not hundreds. He's never satisfied with anything. In that situation, all you can do is what's right. And I think he made me a better business person."

So, Circuit City Hall? Too tacky, he says. Corporations should not mistake this for a naming opportunity. Tastefulness, a word Mr. Perello, no longer roly-poly after a year on the Atkins diet, uses with a certain degree of wistful double entendre, is a sponsorship must. "No advertiser is going to influence policy. But commercialism has driven this city for 400 years. It's why we are who we are."

And why we are what we drink. Got a civic-minded cola? Mr. Perello's glass is empty.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Gulcrapek
September 24th, 2003, 02:10 PM
My school just received two Snapple machines. They replaced the old ones.

Schadenfrau
September 24th, 2003, 03:05 PM
Boycott, Gulcrapek. The branding in this city has gotten out of control.

billyblancoNYC
September 24th, 2003, 03:23 PM
Branding like this is fine... it's money the city can get for basically doing nothing. Circuit City Hall is a no-no.

Schadenfrau
September 25th, 2003, 03:34 PM
I have to disagree, Billy. Kids in public schools are pretty much a captive audience. What the city does is not "basically nothing", instead it provides a generation of present and future consumers.

billyblancoNYC
September 25th, 2003, 03:55 PM
True, but what's the alternative... have a variety of drink types? Coke, Pepsi, SoBe, Snapple. The effect on the kids will be about the same. I'm pretty sure if the kids only get Snapple at school, that will not cause them to be snapple-like drones, craving nothing but the stuff at home, on the street, etc.

Kids need to have something to drink, it's easy to maintain one provider, plus the city get's millions of dollars in the deal.

To each his own, but I don't see an issue. Now, Snapple City University of New York is a different story.

Schadenfrau
September 25th, 2003, 04:08 PM
The problem doesn't so much lie in the actual availability of the beverage, but the PR nonsense that goes along with it. I'm sure that Cadbury won't be satisfied with just having the stuff available for purchase; they're going to advertise it heavily, as well.

I can understand the city's need for money, but I'm saddened to see what should be public space used as a soapbox for corporations to tout their benefits.

Kris
October 31st, 2003, 01:59 AM
October 31, 2003

New York City Comptroller Seeks to End Snapple Deal

By MIKE McINTIRE

The New York City comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., urged the Bloomberg administration yesterday to cancel a deal giving Snapple exclusive rights to sell drinks and snacks on city property, saying the bidding process was flawed and tainted by ethical conflicts.

In a letter to the city's top lawyer, Mr. Thompson cited overlapping relationships among companies and officials involved in the negotiations with Snapple that he said raised "clear conflict-of-interest concerns." He also said that while two other companies submitted proposals that were at least as profitable for the city as Snapple's offer, they were rejected.

The bidding process was unfair, Mr. Thompson said, because the Department of Education's marketing consultant did not treat competing companies equally. One losing bidder said it was told by the consultant that its proposal was "so formidable" that the deadline for submitting bids would be extended to allow "other companies to respond," Mr. Thompson said.

Besides criticizing Snapple's contract to sell drinks in New York City schools, the comptroller took issue with a "letter of intent," apparently awarded without a formal bidding process, that would grant Snapple and its corporate parent, Cadbury-Schweppes, exclusive rights to sell its products on all municipal property.

"Somehow," Mr. Thompson said at a news conference called to announce his findings, "an agreement between the Department of Education and Snapple got transformed into a citywide deal that was three times as large. What's worse, it seems that this was done without the knowledge of other potential bidders."

Asked about the comptroller's allegations during a break in a daylong series of events in Queens yesterday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "He's wrong." The mayor indicated that he had no intention of rescinding the Snapple agreements, and he responded testily to a reporter's characterization of Mr. Thompson's report as scathing.

"Scathing? Did it say scathing in it, or is that a subjective thing?" Mr. Bloomberg said. "The fact of the matter is the Snapple deal is a wonderful deal for the city.

"We did a lot of competition on this. We had lots of companies that had the opportunity to submit a bid. Your facts are just incorrect. This is the one company that submitted a bid that was in the city's interest."

Beyond its political aspects — Mr. Thompson, a Democrat, is considered a potential challenger to Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, in 2005 — the practical effects of the comptroller's criticisms were not immediately clear.

Because New York's school system was until last year independent of City Hall and is governed by state law, its business dealings are not subject to approval by the comptroller, who can reject city contracts that he finds questionable. Mr. Thompson conceded that remained the case, even though Mr. Bloomberg had succeeded in bringing the Education Department under the mayor's control. Mr. Thompson said he would seek a change in state law extending the comptroller's oversight to future school contracts.

In addition, Mr. Thompson said he considered the other part of the Snapple deal, giving the company exclusive rights to sell its products on nonschool property, to be within his purview.

The Snapple deal had been hailed as an innovative coup by an administration trying to infuse private-sector marketing savvy into a municipal bureaucracy. The five-year agreements, estimated to generate up to $166 million for New York, were the first to be announced since the city appointed a chief marketing officer, Joseph M. Perello, in April.

Mr. Thompson found fault with Mr. Perello's involvement, noting that Mr. Perello had had dealings with Snapple when he was in charge of marketing for the New York Yankees and that Snapple was the team's "official iced tea." Mr. Perello declined to comment.

The city's Law Department issued a statement saying "it is totally off base to suggest there was any conflict of interest" for Mr. Perello, who began working for the Yankees after Snapple already had a contract with the team. It said, however, that the mayor had asked it to look into Mr. Thompson's claims of conflicts involving a consultant, the Octagon Group, hired by the Education Department to oversee the bidding process.

Octagon, a sports and entertainment marketing company, also works for Cadbury-Schweppes, Snapple's parent company, Mr. Thompson said. Octagon and Snapple's marketing agency, Deutsch Inc., are also both owned by the same company, Interpublic.

"This fact compounds, exponentially, the potential for favoritism in a process that should have been, but was not, open, fair and competitive," Mr. Thompson said.

David Bober, Octagon's director of business development and special projects, dismissed Mr. Thompson's claims. He said one of Octagon's 70 international offices worked with Cadbury-Schweppes in England in a relationship inconsequential to Octagon's dealings with Snapple in New York. Mr. Bober added that Octagon had also worked with other companies, like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, that were considered for New York's contract but were passed over.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
October 31st, 2003, 10:26 AM
So long as we're talking about branding, there's a J.C. Penney Lecture Hall in 48 Cooper Square.

Kris
November 1st, 2003, 05:30 AM
November 1, 2003

Mayor Assails Opposition to City Deal With Snapple

By WINNIE HU

A day after a report by New York's comptroller raised serious questions about the bidding process in a deal between the city and Snapple, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg used his radio program yesterday to denounce the report as a bureaucratic attack on innovation.

The highly publicized deal gives Snapple exclusive rights to sell drinks and snacks on city property. Mr. Bloomberg, who seeks to run city operations like a business, has repeatedly held up the agreement as an example of the way a municipal bureaucracy can be revitalized — or in this case, enriched — by a bit of private-sector marketing savvy.

The Snapple deal is expected to generate as much as $166 million for New York.

"You know, some days you just want to throw your hands up and say you cannot do anything innovative, ever," the mayor said on his weekly program on WABC-AM. "It's the politicians who want to control everything — whatever. I don't know what's going on. Look, the Snapple deal is a great deal for the city."

The mayor's comments came a day after the city comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., called on the Bloomberg administration to cancel the Snapple deal, saying the bidding process had been flawed and compromised by "clear conflict-of-interest concerns" among the companies and officials involved in the negotiations.

While Mr. Bloomberg did not directly criticize Mr. Thompson — instead calling him a "good guy" — he dismissed his findings. He suggested that other companies were just sore losers, and he pledged to go ahead with the Snapple deal.

"There are some sore heads, I think, who didn't submit a bid because they didn't want to," he said. "Or didn't think they could make any money, or didn't have the sales, or didn't have any good products, or got lousy advice. They should go take a look at their own salesmen who didn't know what the heck they were doing."

Jeff Simmons, Mr. Thompson's press secretary, said yesterday that his office stood by its findings. "It's not a question of innovation," he said. "It's a question of fairness. We are all for creative ideas. We are all for bringing new revenue streams into the city. However, this must be done in a fair and competitive process that demonstrates integrity and ensures that the city gets the best deal possible."

The mayor also took issue with Mr. Thompson's criticism that the city's chief marketing officer, Joseph M. Perello, had dealings with Snapple when he was in charge of marketing for the New York Yankees and Snapple was the team's "official iced tea."

"The next thing you know, they want to attack him," the mayor said. "Why? Because he worked for the Yankees and the Yankees dealt with Snapple. Oh, that's a conflict. What conflict? We hired the guy because he knows these companies, because he's dealt with them. Come on, give us a break."


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Schadenfrau
April 22nd, 2004, 01:58 PM
Comptroller sues city over Snapple deal

By Curtis L. Taylor
Staff Writer

April 21, 2004, 7:39 PM EDT

New Yorkers may have to wait awhile before they can buy the city's official new beverage from vending machines in government buildings.

Comptroller William Thompson Jr. filed suit Wednesday in an effort to block the city from moving forward with its $126 million contract with Snapple.

According to the suit, which was filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the contract was approved without allowing public scrutiny as required under the City Charter.

"The administration sold Snapple exclusive rights to use our city's name in a backroom deal," Thompson said. "No one has the right to sell the use of the city's name without public disclosure, review and debate."

A judge is expected to rule today on whether to issue a temporary restraining order blocking Snapple from installing vending machines on city property.

The lawsuit names the mayor, the city's Corporation Counsel, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Snapple Beverage Corp. as defendants.

The Bloomberg administration has contended that it followed all legally required steps in reaching the Snapple accord and has asked Thompson to register the contract.

Under city rules, the comptroller has 10 days to register a contract after receiving it. That deadline expires today.

"The city validly entered into the contract with Snapple and there was nothing improper or illegal in the way it was negotiated," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "I trust the courts will cut through this political red tape so New Yorkers can benefit from this innovative partnership."

The $126 million agreement was an outgrowth of a separate $40 million deal between Snapple and the city Department of Education. An earlier audit by Thompson's office determined that the department granted Snapple exclusive rights to sell its products in city schools without competitive bidding.

Several other beverage companies testified before the City Council that they would have paid more for exclusive rights on other city properties but that deal was never presented to them. Thompson has repeatedly refused to register the Snapple contract.

Joseph Perello, the city's marketing guru, has said he is pursuing dozens of similar licensing deals. The Snapple deal, City Hall insiders say, will serve as both the benchmark and barometer for how much autonomy the Bloomberg administration will have to pursue similar deals in the future.

A Snapple official said Wednesday that the comptroller's suit was casting a shadow over the deal's many benefits.

"Our sponsorship will provide much-needed financial support of our public education programs through an immediate cash infusion," said Steve Jarmon, the company's vice president for communications.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

BigMac
April 25th, 2004, 11:00 AM
NY1 News
April 25, 2004

Snapple Appeals To New Yorkers After Court Wrangling

While Snapple celebrates becoming the city government’s exclusive vendor of water, juice and iced tea, there’s word Coke and Pepsi will vie to supply carbonated drinks.

Snapple vending machines were hauled into public buildings last week after a judge refused city Comptroller Bill Thompson’s request for a injunction while his lawsuit challenging the contract is pending. Thompson says the bidding process was unfair.

In a letter to be published in Monday’s newspapers, Snapple’s president appeals to New Yorkers to support the deal. “Dear Fellow New Yorkers,” the letter says. “Here at Snapple, we want you to know how proud we are of our partnership with New York City… This unprecedented public/private achievement is about making life better for the people of New York City, especially children.”

The letter also refers to New Yorkers as the “best stuff” in New York City, echoing Snapple's slogan “made from the best stuff on Earth.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has praised the deal, citing the $126 million Snapple will pay the city for the exclusive vending rights.
The city could rake in millions more with a similar contract for carbonated beverages, according to the New York Post. Coke and Pepsi are among the companies that may make bids.

Snapple has a separate, $40 million contract to sell beverages in the city’s 1,200 public schools. That deal is not affected by Thompson’s lawsuit.

Copyright 2004 NY1 News

Kris
December 8th, 2004, 10:26 PM
December 9, 2004

History Channel and the City Make a Deal

New York City has entered into a marketing agreement with the History Channel in which the cable station will give the city free advertising and sponsor the improvement of historic projects in exchange for attaching its name to various tourist attractions around town, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday.

Under the agreement, the channel will provide the city with about $15 million in advertising to promote tourism.

The channel also said it would spend $3.5 million on the preservation of historic monuments and sites around the city, from the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Brooklyn to the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park to the Bronx River Soldier statue in the Bronx.

In addition, the city will create and operate an official history center, to be paid for by the History Channel, and the channel will develop historical tours of New York City.

The city will provide space at bus shelters and other outdoor locations for the channel to advertise on.

The city advertising campaign is scheduled to begin on the History Channel and affiliated networks in the spring.

The advertisements, 30 seconds long, will focus on historical sites in New York City.

The station also intends to broadcast five one-hour New York City-themed programs.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 16th, 2005, 11:42 PM
February 17, 2005

New York Wants to Be 2nd Home to the World

By MIKE McINTIRE

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/l.gifest there be any doubt, the Bloomberg administration wants to make official what generations of immigrants in New York have long known: the city is the world's second home.

In application No. 78484751 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the city is seeking to trademark the phrase, "The World's Second Home." It wants exclusive rights to use it to promote business, tourism and economic development in the city, and hopes to slap it on everything from mouse pads and money clips to baby bibs and beanbag chairs.

If New York is successful, other cities that might fancy themselves the world's second home could not legally apply that phrase to any of the 200-odd products and services enumerated in New York's application. Among them are film and theatrical productions, parades, chair pads, sunglasses, temporary tattoos, postcards, beach sandals, and "electric light switch plates."

"For all of those things, if the city got its trademark registration, nobody could come out with sunglasses and use the phrase, 'The world's second home,' " said William M. Borchard, an intellectual-property lawyer at Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman in New York. "To do that, they would have to obtain a license from the city."

Of course, there are plenty of things not on the city's list. Boston could conceivably license a line of canned beans under the label, "Bean Town - the world's second home," without running afoul of New York's trademark. ("Bean Town" is actually the trademark of an Illinois company that sells dried beans.)

New York could eventually try to enforce an American trademark internationally to prevent, say, Paris from laying claim to the same title. In fact, it is New York's contest with Paris and three other foreign cities to play host to the 2012 Summer Olympics that is driving its quest for this silver medal of geopolitical names. (Presumably, the gold would go to "the world's home," but no one has sought that title, according to a search of trademark records.)

The trademark application is one of several the city has filed since September as part of an ambitious plan to secure the rights to catchphrases, abbreviations and logos that it wants to license to makers of consumer products and clothing. Among them: a line drawing of the city's official seal, which includes a sailor, an Indian and a beaver; the phrase "Made in NY"; and a Taxi and Limousine Commission badge for toy cars.

Until recent years, New York did not bother seeking trademarks for common abbreviations like N.Y.P.D., whose obvious association with the city affords some common-law protection against unauthorized use. Nor did most previous mayors try to trademark their favorite catchphrases, like Rudolph W. Giuliani's "Capital of the World" and John V. Lindsay's "Fun City."

The city's lawyers have taken a more aggressive tack under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who came to City Hall with a businessman's appreciation for intellectual-property rights. His company, Bloomberg L.P., owns dozens of trademarks and patents, and Mr. Bloomberg himself has a patent application pending for a telephone handset he helped invent.

The new legal offensive is intended to buttress a huge licensing campaign led by the city's marketing agency, which issued a request last week for proposals from companies interested in helping create an "official brand identity for the city of New York." Joseph M. Perello, the city's chief marketing officer, said the goal was to tap into the unrealized potential for profit in the city's portfolio of intellectual property.

"No other city in the world has such a powerful set of brands, and a central system to manage and protect their value," he said.

The risk of not obtaining trademarks for common city symbols became apparent in November 2001, when city attorneys filed an application to trademark N.Y.P.D. and found that a Florida restaurant called New York Pizzeria and Delicatessen had beat them to it. The pizzeria agreed to use the abbreviation for restaurant services only.

The nonprofit group that organized the Olympic effort, NYC2012, first sought to trademark "the world's second home," but withdrew its application last year in favor of the city's application. New York's Olympic boosters, as well as Mr. Bloomberg, have frequently invoked the phrase when talking about the bid.

A check of public references to the phrase seems to support the city's claim on it. Of more than 200 hits on Nexis, a searchable database of news articles, the only one to bestow the title on another city came from a food critic for a London paper, who thought that Rome might qualify.

"If they could only connect a telephone and were just a smidgen less corrupt," he wrote.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

Schadenfrau
February 17th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Wow, I had no idea that people were clamoring to use the phrase, "The World's Second Home."

Kris
March 6th, 2005, 10:07 AM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/03/05/nyregion/thecity/20050306_slogan.gif

ZippyTheChimp
March 6th, 2005, 12:06 PM
Where Life is a Verb. :)

TLOZ Link5
March 6th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Why trademark "The World's Second Home"? Is "the Big Apple" also trademarked?

I'm sorry, but the latter rolls off the tongue a lot better than the former does.

BigMac
January 25th, 2007, 02:55 PM
April 6, 2003

Branding in New York Is Just the Beginning

By N. R. KLEINFIELD

What about the New York Seal of Approval? That's the contribution of Richard Kirshenbaum, the co-chairman of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners. "What I would do is create an official New York Seal of Approval," he said. "Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, it would be an actual seal that would play to New York's strengths and also the strengths of the product. Everyone knows that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."

Appropriate products that can make it here could receive endorsements from city agencies. "So the strongest Hefty garbage bag will get the seal from the New York Sanitation Department," Mr. Kirshenbaum said. "And the S.U.V. that locks its doors quickest or that can go over the deepest potholes gets the seal of approval from the Transportation Department."

Naturally, there would have to be a rigorous review panel that would test the products to certify that they are worthy of the New York seal, Mr. Kirshenbaum said. If New York gives its blessing to a lightweight iron, the thing better do some job on wrinkles. Mr. Kirshenbaum thinks the seal would attract enormous interest. "You could have the official deodorant of New York, that works even in the subway," he said. "It would be great if there was an official New York condom."

Copyright 2003*The New York Times Company
AM New York
January 25, 2007

NYC to launch an official city condom, with possible subway theme

By SARA KUGLER
Associated Press Writer

Available soon from City Hall: an official New York City condom.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration is focused on reducing rates of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, and part of the strategy is the aggressive promotion of free condoms. Officials are banking on the idea that more people will use condoms if they're wrapped in jazzy packaging.

One idea for the design of the official city condom is a subway theme, with maps and colors of the different lines emblazoned on the wrappers. The health department says a number of possibilities are under consideration.

"Brands work, and people use branded items more than they use non branded items, whether it's a cola or a medicine even," Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said in an interview. "Brands add value and they increase use."

New York is already a big player in the condom market. The city hands out 1.5 million free condoms each month, or about 18 million a year. Hundreds of organizations get free condoms from the city and distribute them at various locations, including health clinics and advocacy groups, bars, restaurants, nail salons, nightclubs and even prisons.

By comparison, the Los Angeles County health department gives out just over a million condoms per year, according to Peter Kerndt, director of the department's STD program. In Los Angeles, health and advocacy organizations request and then restribute condoms, and individuals can order up to 10 at a time by calling a hot line.

New York negotiated a deal with the maker of the Lifestyles brand for 4 cents per condom, putting the expense to the city at just $720,000 annually, according to health officials.

Once the newly-designed condoms are available, city officials hope the distinctive wrapper will enable them to better understand the effectiveness of their distribution program. They plan to do that through the annual community health survey that polls 10,000 New Yorkers by telephone.

"We ask, 'Did you use a condom the last time you had sex?' And once this is launched, the next time we ask that question, of those people who say yes, we'll say, 'What did the wrapper look like?"' Frieden said. "And if they describe our wrapper, then we'll know that they would have used our condom."

Right now, it is difficult to know. The free condoms given out by the city are wrapped in the red packaging from the Lifestyles brand, a product of Ansell Healthcare Products LLC. The company declined to discuss its contract with the city and referred all questions to the health department.

The number of condoms distributed by the city multiplied several times over after the health department launched its online ordering system in 2005. Individuals cannot order there, but any other type of organization or venue can request unlimited free condoms through the Web site.

The Duplex, a bar in the West Village, offers free condoms in a bowl at its entryway and on a table by the restrooms. Day manager C.T. Cook said they order about 3,000 per month from the city.

"It's very important to show that we encourage safe sex and for people to be responsible," he said. "If you're under the influence, you might make poor judgements and act without thinking, so if it's easier to obtain condoms, this can probably help prevent mistakes."

Gay Men's Health Crisis, an non-profit dedicated to fighting AIDS, orders half a million free condoms each year, spokeswoman Lynn Schulman said. It is one of about 800 groups that did so last year.

The group offers the condoms in bowls scattered throughout their organization's offices, hands them out at the annual AIDS walk, and gives them to establishments like gay bars.

Widespread free distribution started after Frieden became health commissioner in 2002 and discovered that the city's STD disease clinics were limiting each patient to just a small number.

"I thought that was nuts _ of all the people you'd like to have an unlimited supply of condoms, it's people who have an STD," said Frieden. "Condoms work, they're just not where they need to be as often as they need to be."

There is now even a bowl of condoms outside Frieden's office.

More than 100,000 New Yorkers are living with HIV and AIDS. And city officials are troubled by one subcategory in particular: the 1,000 or so people each year who find out they have AIDS, but never knew they even had HIV. AIDS remains the third-leading cause of death among New Yorkers under 65.

It can take years for AIDS to develop in HIV-infected people, which means they can unknowingly infect others during that time if they don't know they have the virus and aren't using condoms.

New York officials don't yet have their own data on the effectiveness of their free condom program, but many experts say large-scale free distribution is a crucial tool of public health policy.

Dr. Thomas Farley, a former state health official for Louisiana and now a professor at Tulane University's School of Public Health, oversaw a condom-distribution program in the 1990s. For the first three years of the initiative, condoms were provided free at health clinics, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, supermarkets _ everywhere possible.

During that time, surveys found that condom use increased substantially. Then, during a budget shortfall, condoms were offered at 8 cents each to those venues, which could then sell them for 25 cents each. Condom use decreased dramatically.

Health officials reinstated the free program, and condom use rose again.

"The conclusion was that condoms needed to be free and freely available," he said. "As a public service, it's much less expensive than the cost of HIV treatment, which is heavily government-subsidized."

Copyright 2007 AM New York

Kris
September 23rd, 2008, 06:32 AM
When New York Branded Its Way Out of Crisis (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/22/when-new-york-branded-its-way-out-of-crisis/index.html?hp)