Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Venice, Italy, Sponsored by Coca-Cola®
A row has broken out in the Italian city of Venice over a new $2.7 million sponsorship deal between the authorities and Coca Cola.

Venice's mayor said the funds raised by allowing vending machines to sell the drink across the city would be used to safeguard its artistic heritage.

Venice has strict rules on the sale of food and beverages to tourists. In St Mark's Square, picnicking is banned.

The Italian newspapers claim that Venice is not only being swamped with mass tourism and threatened by floods from the Adriatic Sea, but will soon also be awash with fizzy drinks.

Sixty vending machines will sell the drink all over the city, including at the main waterbus stations and reportedly even St Mark's Square, where a city ordinance already forbids picnicking by tourists.

The Mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari, has complained loudly about the lack of state funding to conserve the crumbling palaces and churches of the city and has strongly defended his decision to accept money from the US company.
It's nothing new in the U.S. to see city-owned assets sponsored by corporations -- usually sporting and entertainment venues like KC's own Tony's Kansas City Cock Fight Auditorium.

But those clever Italians have now taken it to the next level. It makes sense. An entire city sponsored by a corporation is the next logical step.

And, as the economy gets worse and the Obama government continues to pour billions more dollars into digital teevee converter boxes for the masses, it's obvious that the trends are due to intersect sooner rather than later.

As our nation goes deeper into a hopeless debt, we'll be forced to take on a corporate sponsor at the national level.

My prediction is that before Obama takes the Sony Oath of Office® for his second term, the entire United States will be a fully owned subsidiary of Brawndo®, The Thirst Mutilator.

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  1. Reminds me of that book by David Foster Wallace where we no longer refer to years by number but by their corporate sponsorship (i.e 2010 would instead be referred to as The Year of the Robitussin Cough Suppressant Cold Medicine or some other such inane name). Future looks bright, eh?

  2. I can see it now. All the vending machines are unloaded and placed about the city and the additional weight sinks the city.

  3. TKC is surprisingly not sponsored. I heard Obama is giving a "Depends" economy speech tonight.

  4. The only tricky part of all this is that most major companies are pulling back on their marketing spend. I, personally, think that Flush Creek should be sponsor by Perrier...THINK of the re-branding strategy for KC's most fragrant waterway!


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