Are “i”‘s dotted and “t”‘s crossed at the CVB??
Posted: 24 April 2014 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Well, our infamous CVB now is using our million dollars of tax money to run a “Dora the Explorer” campaign to draw people to Manhattan.  They’ve tried vulgar song lyrics, ladies jumping on hotel beds, Sasquach, and now Dora.  A few minutes with Google and you will find the copyright/trademark for items like Dora, SpongeBob, etc. are agressively protected.  Costume companies have had their doors closed over lawsuits when simply putting kids in Halloween costumes replicating copyrighted figures.

So, my question is this…  Did part of our $1 million in tax dollars go to purchase copyright use for the CVB campaign?  If so, are the taxpayers aware we’re spending our hardearned dollars that way?  Or, if the CVB did not pay the copyright fee, is the City at risk in a potential lawsuit??

It’s interesting that this $1 million we hand to the CVB comes from sales tax revenue.  Every person buying groceries in Manhattan pays more for their bread and milk so we can hand over the $1 million.  That additional cost of feeding families gets glowing accolades from many who sit on our City Commission, when they see those dollars used to make videos of Sasquach.  I’m certain, a number of the elected officials will swoon over how great this Dora the Explorer campaign is… at least they will swoom enough to keep handing over our sales tax to the CVB.  I wonder if a trademark infrigement lawsuit against the City would change their minds.  Probably not.

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Posted: 25 April 2014 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Larry:  A small clarification on the source of the CVB money.  The money comes from the head or bed tax.  It is paid by anyone that rents a hotel room in town.  It is a form of sales tax, but not from groceries.  The money funds CVB and part of the Discovery Center.  I believe the amount provided this year for CVB to market was around 900K.  I am a bit skeptical of the success of the campaign to put “Heads in Beds” – which is one of the key aims of the market campaign.  Two good metrics to measure success would be sales tax receipts city wide and occupancy of hotel rooms.  The sales tax receipts are declining for the first three months of the year.  So that metric indicates to me that the marketing campaign is not producing the desired results.  I have not seen any recent data on occupancy, so will not comment on that metric.  I would like to see the campaign produce the desired results, increase sales tax revenue and increased heads in beds.  If the results cannot be demonstrated then it seems evident that the contract should be terminated or reduced.  The money might be better directed to some other projects.  The CVB is a contract with the city, and I do not believe we have any city liability for video productions,  will pose the question to the legal staff next week to confirm.

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