It's Brand New York – as Mayor buys into a scheme to balance the budget

Welcome to Manhattan, the metropolis that melts in your mouth! This will be the banner billboard straddling the main road after you have flown in. Hopefully you will have had a smooth passage through Customs-by-Kit-Kat at British Airways International, the world's favourite airport.

All right, so this is taking the concept a bit far. But, you have been warned. The Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has just decreed that it is time for New York City to sell itself a little. He is a businessman by pedigree, after all, so no one should be especially surprised. He surmises that there is a special cachet to this madness of eight million souls and that wealthy corporations will be all too happy to harness it.

The task of identifying ways that this might be done has been given to Joseph Perello, appointed with minimum fanfare by Mr Bloomberg last week as the city's first chief marketing officer. The Mayor has given him a few early pointers, however. First, the more money he can generate this way the better. New York, like most cities in America, is facing crippling budget deficits once again.

But the Mayor has also cautioned Mr Perello not to go too far, for instance by attaching corporate names to the city's most famous landmarks. We can rest assured, apparently, that the Brooklyn Bridge will, in fact, always remain the Brooklyn Bridge.

There are precedents. Times Square, after all, is named after a certain venerable newspaper. Mr Perello could of course initiate an auction with rival papers. Why not call it Post Square, if Rupert Murdoch, proprietor of the New York Post, wants to dig in his pockets? And in the Seventies, when the city was on its knees financially and suffering from a reputation as a place of crime and civic chaos, it turned to the advertising world for help. The result was the "I Love NY" slogan, which became one of the most successful branding exercises in history.

Now the advertising industry is once again cranking up its collective imagination to answer the call of Mr Bloomberg.

While it may not be acceptable to rename Central Park as Continental Airlines Park, it might be possible to adhere brand names to features within its bounds. You, as the tourist in town, might like to take a paddle on the Bulgari Boat Basin, for example.

A poll by The New York Times of some of the brightest on Madison Avenue came up with an array of possibilities. Thus, Richard Kirschenbaum, of Kirschenbaum Bond and Partners, suggested introducing a New York City seal of approval. It would be awarded to any product deemed worthy of the city's admiration. If the Queen can do it, why can't New York? "You could have the official deodorant of New York that works even in the subway," he suggested. "It would be great if there was an official New York condom."

Others' ideas were even more inventive. Pedestrians waiting for the green light to cross a busy street, would not see "Walk" flash up on the sign. That would be another wasted opportunity. Why not say "Nike" or "Reebok"?

Curiously, New York has so far even failed to employ a strategy common in almost every other major city in the United States – allowing corporations to put their names to large sporting arenas.

Yankee Stadium could so easily become Philip Morris Field. Oh, but maybe not. It has only been a week since Mr Bloomberg implemented his ban on smoking in all public places, so that might not work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory