Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lost in the Money Section?

I was waiting to see if any other bloggers had anything to say about this, but the city seems to be having trouble finding Mardi Gras sponsors:
Deterred by the bawdy reputation of Carnival for the second year in a row, no company is willing to put up the $1 million to become the event's first presenting sponsor.

But MediaBuys LLC, the company hired to find corporate sponsors to cover the cost of police, fire and sanitation services surrounding New Orleans parades, said trash bag maker Glad Products is back and may be joined by a beer company and a cruise company.

The Los Angeles area media placement firm says it contacted more than 2,000 corporations starting in June, but it had limited success because corporate America is frightened by the debauchery on Bourbon Street. "People don't seem to want to associate their brands with the exposure of breasts and drinking. .."

Maybe if Nagin started calling it a fat family celebration, the city would have more luck. In a related note, Mobile is expecting record crowds for its "family oriented" Mardi Gras.

Apparently, the plans for a nationally televised concert have also been scrapped. However, I do remember a comment that Dambala made on Adrastos' blog:
I bet you dinner at Brigtsens Ernest Collins and his crew will get the contract for shooting this....the one area Ray knows how to make money in is Video Production. Wait and see who get's this contract.

I guess we'll see. Come to think of it, I wonder what kind of raise the head of the office of arts and entertainment got.

But not all is lost:
In addition to the sponsorships, the company has worked out a deal in which people along the parade routes can use their cell phones to send text-message contributions a nonprofit fund created by the city to receive sponsorship proceeds. Billboards and a giant LED screen at the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street will implore people to donate.

New Orleans, still best the nation at finding tasteless ways to get money from people who are too drunk to know what they're doing.

Mardi Gras is years overdue in getting an image makeover. The biggest obstacle to upgrading Mardi Gras is the hotel industry and the business community. The lowest common denominator M.G. experience worked well for them, and they are fearful of an upgrade. That is why the recent tourist promotions are so awful. When in doubt, go back to what worked before, no matter how bad it was.
When I was a kid, everything uptown was family oriented, but it's always been anything goes in the French Quarter. The French Quarter stuff's just gotten more crowded and publicized. They should enforce decency laws above Lee Circle. I would say above Canal, but St. Charles is so narrow below Lee Circle that it gets way too crowded to safely bring children.

That brings up a totally true story. A few years back, maybe ten, the T/P had a phone poll about whether there should be a crackdown on flashing. I phoned in and said the parade route above Lee circle should be for families, but the quarter should be for adults. I suggested Lee Circle as the boundary for selective enforcement. The following weekend, the Sunday op-ed page was full of responses. Every single one was either yes or know, mine didn't get printed. But a T/P columninst who's since retired ran a column suggesting that almost anything should be allowed inparts of the city, but parts should have laws enforced strictly enough for families. He even suggested Lee Circle as the border. Had he suggested Canal St., I might have believed he thought up that column on his own. I won't name the plagiarist, but you know who you are, don't you J.W.?

I should point out that I called at the end of a night of heavy drinking and an answering machine picked up. If memory serves, the poll ran the first carnival weekend, and the responses ran on Bacchus Sunday. It's possible nobody understood my drunken rant.
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