Tim Berney called me back. First things first. Who paid for these signs? You did. You the readers did. It’s your money. And the Oklahoma Department of Health, using your federal dollars, paid VI Marketing “six figures” to do this 5320 campaign.
Berney knows these signs are illegal in city right-of-ways and parks. About 3,000 of these signs have been placed throughout the state.
His response to them being illegal? Politicians do it every campaign season. And, quote, “If Oklahoma City is to be a major league city, it will see more of this gorilla (my spelling) marketing.” End quote.
Berney does not believe these signs reflect badly on a community’s appearance. He noted the campaign has several corporate partners, including the Deep Fork restaurant group and area Burger Kings.
Berney indicated his firm will consider doing this again for future campaigns, and despite laws against placing such signs in parks, public right-of-way, he called the issue “a gray area.”
For what it’s worth, my inquiries began after I was contacted by a reader who noted these signs surrounded the Oklahoma City Beautiful park sign.
The signs are now gone. Berney did not offer to have them removed. Instead, it was Councilwoman Meg Salyer, who has a history of picking up weeds, trash along Broadway, who had the signs removed from the Broadway park.
VI Marketing shows its other clients downtown have included St. Anthony Hospital, Advanced Academics and deadCENTER Film Festival. The firm has also done work for the Oklahoma Department of Tourism.
If you wish to share your thoughts on this matter, you can do so by emailing Tim at email@example.com.