Naming Philadelphia

By Jeffrey Dobkin

Philadelphia: Bar Fight Capital of Pennsylvania…

Jeffrey Dobkin

Jeffrey Dobkin's Back!

Jeffrey Dobkin’s Back!

In an blasphemous attempt to increase city revenue even further, the City Counsel of Philadelphia is losing its grip on reality by proposing to allow advertising on city properties.  This includes public buildings, bus shelters… and city vehicles, to name a few.

“Naming sponsors” already encompass most every event and every structure: the Wells Fargo Center, the Lincoln Financial Field, the Kimmel Center and Verizon Hall, and the Blue Cross Broad Street Run. If you’re not quite ready for “Philadelphia, the Budweiser City of Brotherly Love,” you might look the other way – towards New Jersey…

Face it: Philadelphia is already known as “The bar fight capital of Pennsylvania!” If the legislation is passed and Philadelphia opens its government and quasi-governmental buildings, structures and property for advertising space, it will open the door for cramming more advertising blight down its citizen’s throats: this is somewhere between the intersection of “Bend over, this won’t hurt!”  and “If anyone complains — we’ll cut back elementary school, police and fireman funding…”

Imagine for a moment paying your city tax bill at the Ronald MacDonald City Hall, and the competing Whopper courtyard.  How long will it be until The Waste Management Boat House Row, you know — right behind the ABC 10 Art Museum, turns totally commercial?  Not long I suspect.  Just like the Channel 6 Zoo — oh, wait, that’s already there…

It might not be all bad.  Just think the ugly and outdated Fairmont prison could bring money into the city by becoming a giant from naming it the Smith and Wesson prison, and with a branch titled The Goldstein’s Funeral Home wing.

The Allstate Threshold bridge going over the scrapyards of autos they’ve gougingly insured will get you to the Sugarhouse Casino Airport.  This will bring new light to the talk of taking a chance on parking close, placing a bet on how long the lines are at TSA, or if you want a longshot – your plane arriving on time…

Things will fall further from grace when the street names are sold down the river – like they’ve already done to Kelly Drive and the competing Martin Luther King drives.  How much better these wonderful drives were when they were simply names East and West River Drives.  Isn’t it time we returned them to their former real names.  Sigh…

After the buildings are gobbled up such as the Electrical Union Convention Center — after their long and costly lawsuit from gouging people who display at conventions (sorry, you can’t plug that into an electrical socket – you need a union electrician or that!), the Republican Free Library, and the Philadelphia Bar Association Federal Court Building, how long will it be for the very core of center city street names to be breeched and purchased.

I suspect we’ll eventually have Frank Rizzo Walnut Street, Mayor Nutter Broad, along with the Milton 8th Street Street, and I’m putting a bid on the Jeffrey Dobkin Parkway.  I can hardly wait for Delilah’s Market Street East Train Station, and the 76ers National Heritage Center – now in financial trouble.

What happens when we run out of street names that have been bought? Obviously neighborhoods will be next.  Care to live in the Doritos Rittenhouse Square area, or the Fumo South Philly area.  It’s easy to get there from the train at the Parx 30th Street Train station.

But don’t fret.  Advertising could take a turn for the more truthful: political ads on trash trucks anyone?  Hey, if the shoe fits…  And don’t forget the members of the city council – their faces on trash receptacles would work just fine for me.

Bio: Jeffrey Dobkin is a creative advertising and direct marketing writer, a pretty funny motivational speaker on sales and marketing, and a lousy speller and proofreader.  Check out his business website and see all the typos:  He can be reached at 610-642-1000.