Thursday, October 04, 2012

Keeping the Brand Out There

Before we begin, I'm afraid too much time may have passed between now and the origin of that reference. So just to re-cap:

Responding to a TV reporter's question about whether New Orleans' murder rate hurts the city's tourism economy, Mayor Ray Nagin on Thursday called the phenomenon a "two-edged sword."

"Do I worry about it? Somewhat. It's not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. So it is kind of a two-edged sword. Sure it hurts, but we have to keep working everyday to make the city better," Nagin said, according to a transcript of provided by FOX 8.

We all had a laugh when that happened.  Little did we know that one day we'd have an administration in place who would take that motto seriously

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and film director/producer Spike Lee want to change the attitudes of young African-American men heading down a path of destruction.

The two men introduced a multimedia, public awareness campaign called "Flip The Script" Tuesday evening at the Joy Theater.

"In almost every urban area, black men are killing black men, and I think it's at the point of genocide," said Lee.

Mayor Landrieu partnered with Lee and his international advertising agency, "Spike DDB," in an effort aimed at changing the attitudes of -- and about -- young, black men across New Orleans.

Advertising! That'll slow the murder rate for sure. Well, maybe not, but at least we'll get to put some celebrities and politicians on TV where they can tell us how much they care anyway.  That's always the next best thing. I'm seeing Ronal Serpas in a TV spot dressed as Smokey the Bear sternly telling us "Only you can prevent marshfires homicides."

NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas (File photo)

And along the way, we'll generate PR production jobs for the media-savvy "creative class" types we keep hearing are the future of the city.  If you're going to keep the brand out there, you might as well embrace it for all the money it's worth, right?

In any case, they'd better get cracking.  Otherwise they'll never catch up to jeweler Mignon Faget who jumped ahead in the Brand-Keepstakes with this not-at-all tasteless entry.

Stop the Shooting Pin
Product Number: 0966M
Price: $25.00


Teaming with NOLA FOR LIFE, Mignon introduces the gun designs dedicated to raising awareness and funds to stop the gun violence in New Orleans.
If I understand this correctly, the pin works as a talisman keeping the wearer safe from would-be murderers who, upon seeing the little gun and ribbon, immediately have their awareness raised too high for them to follow through with their intended action.  Either that or the pin is able to stop bullets. I'll run some tests as soon as I get a hold of one.

If Mignon is as on-the-ball as she seems she's probably already in line at City Hall to pick up her Second Line Vendor's permit.  Expect to find her dragging an ice chest full of Stop The Shooting Pins behind her at the next parade.

Unfortunately even that won't be soon enough for some.

NEW ORLEANS - Two juveniles, one of whom was wearing an ankle monitor, have been arrested in connection with at least two Uptown robberies committed Tuesday night, according to the NOPD.

Police said another juvenile was still at large and the police are working to determine if the trio was involved in a carjacking and shooting on Camp Street.
Recall that the sherriff's ankle monitoring program is itself already a topic of some controversy.

The no-bid bracelet deal turns out to have been built into Gusman and Landrieu’s 2010 collective endeavor agreement, which has since been extended to 2015.

Under the agreement, the city compensates Gusman $14.75 a day for monitored juveniles and $13.25 for adults in the program. That’s less than the $22.39 it pays him for each prisoner he keeps locked up.

The high-tech tracking units are leased by Gusman for $5.50 a day from a company called Omnilink, which was picked by Gusman because it was “the only one that was 24 hours and, at the time, had cellular triangulation,” said Chief Deputy Gerald Ursin in response to Guidry’s inquiries about the no-bid contract.

Gusman said 49 of the devices are allotted for juvenile use, “but it’s pretty much first come, first served.” He said about 400 juvenile offenders have participated in the program since he took charge of it.

The $800 units signal the wearer’s location every 15 minutes and are linked to a three-deputy tracking unit at the jail. Gusman said purchasing the units instead of leasing them would be prohibitively expensive, owing to maintenance and service costs Omnilink covers.
For $800 Omnilink may not have been able to prevent this shooting but no one can argue that they haven't contributed to keeping the brand out there.  Still, compared to what Mignon has come up with, the bracelets make far less attractive accessories.  And her price point is obviously much more reasonable. Maybe this contract should go out for bid after all.

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