Media release – JY&A Media
While his opponents are still saying they either like or dislike Wellington’s ‘Wellywood’ sign in Miramar, mayoral candidate Jack Yan is looking for a way to stop it outright.
Although resource consent has been granted to Wellington Airport, which owns the land, Mr Yan says he has contacted the Hollywood Sign Trust, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and Global Icons, the latter two having intellectual property rights in the sign.
‘This sign is tacky and unoriginal—two things Wellington is not,’ he says. ‘And if we are going to erect a second-rate copy, we had better ask the guys who own the original what they think.’
Mr Yan says in an interview with TV3’s Rachel Morton, broadcast tonight, that his email exchange with the Chamber’s licensing party reveals that the Americans are ‘not happy’.
He had approached them last night soon after discovering that the majority of Facebook participants were against the ‘Wellywood’ sign.
‘I had already Tweeted that I was against it—and when I discovered that opposition to the sign was running at 100 to 1 on Facebook, I decided that someone had to act,’ he says. ‘We might be six months out from the election, but Wellington has spoken, and someone has to do our bidding.’
He says the matter is currently being reviewed by the licensing body that oversees the Hollywood sign, and is now an internal matter for them.
Mr Yan says that the Wellington City Council, which owns 34 per cent of Wellington International Airport Ltd., should not have willingly complied with erecting the sign.
‘While the defenders of the sign are saying that the airport is paying for it, remember that the city owns just over a third of the airport.
‘I may not be privy to the internal information, but that sounds like ratepayers are partly funding this sign.
‘This is totally against the image of Wellington. We are creative, and we certainly don’t need to copy,’ he says.
William Shepherd, a brand consultant with Multicultural Brand Consultancy of Los Angeles, California, agrees.
‘Wellington’s scope is global creative economics. Hollywood sign has legacy [and] tainted current values,’ he says. ‘When I think of your city, I think creative innovation.’