In my ongoing quest to stay abreast of news, the San Francisco Chronicle online edition (which does NOT require a user name and password, thank you very much) is running a story about the City's most venerable landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Seems the Bridge district's board of directors is hiring a consultant to seek corporate sponsors for the Bridge to help offset the district's $87 million deficit.
This is a bad idea.
I mean, it's bad enough that stadiums are no longer named after people or places, but after corporations. It's bad enough that major sporting events (golf, NASCAR, football, the Olympics, et. al.) are already overrun by corporate logos and branding. But sponsoring the world's most famous bridge?! Granted, there will be no plastering of sponsoring corporations' names on the Bridge itself. But still, the idea is abhorrent.
The Golden Gate rolls trippingly off the tongue. The Tide Golden Gate Bridge doesn't. Nor does Pacific Bell Golden Gate Bridge or Wells-Fargo Golden Gate Bridge or Oracle Golden Gate Bridge.
On top of that, what corporation would want to link their name to the world's most popular suicide destination? The PR folks will rue the day they have to take that first call for comment about how the company feels about Ms. Smith or Mr. Jones who just took a dive off of "Insert Corporate Name" Golden Gate Bridge.
And once you find a sponsor for the Golden Gate, then every landmark will want one. Soon there will be a corporate sponsor for the Grand Canyon, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Washington Monument.... ("The Washington Monument! Brought to you by Trojan Brand Condoms: Pleasure you want. Protection you trust.") The precedence is just too frightening to contemplate.
Read the full article here.
P.S. Please note that my tongue is mostly embedded in my cheek. On the one hand, I think it's a horrible idea. On the other hand, if it saves commuters from increased bridge tolls, then maybe it's not a bad idea...