IBJOpinion

Billboard decision was defiant

February 6, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

[In the Jan. 4 issue], IBJ covered the State Fair board’s decision to permit a digital billboard at the Fairgrounds on Fall Creek Parkway. One of the opening lines, “Take that, Indianapolis” in the article was apt.

Digital billboards have been proposed within Marion County before. These proposals are always vetted by a thorough process, including review by experienced and educated city planners, followed by citizen boards appointed by elected officials. This process includes the viewpoints of land-use professionals and layman residents. While it’s not a perfect system, it’s generally fair, representative and accepted for decades in this and many cities.

For the State Fair board to ignore this system and the current ordinance just because they legally can is a thoughtless act of defiance. Although the land is owned by the state, it’s located in the middle of Indianapolis. The Indiana Department of Transportation responsibly elects to defer to the local jurisdiction in similar cases. Out of respect for the city, its citizens and its process, the State Fair board should have rejected the digital billboard. Instead, they chose the money.

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Will Pritchard

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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