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Parks & Public Spaces

Application from Hargrove for “Ray-Ban Remix Activation NYC,” a public event in Union Square Park on either September 25, 2014 or October 30, 2014

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, September 11, 2014, the following resolution passed with a vote of 35 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Hargrove (the "Applicant's Representative") has submitted an application on behalf of Ray Ban (the "Applicant"), to present a commercial activation to promote Ray Ban sunglasses titled "Ray-Ban Remix Activation NYC" (the "Activation") in Union Square Park on either Thursday, September 25 or Thursday, October 30, 2014; and  

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes that the Activation will consist of :

  1. a commercial display (the "Display") which will consist of tiles laid adjacent to one another forming a flat rectangle with dimensions of approximately 275 feet by 120 feet throughout the entirety of the Union Square Park North Plaza,
  2. one container made of metal and wood with dimensions of approximately 23 feet by 23 feet by 10 feet which will contain promotional Ray Ban materials including oversized, customizable sunglasses,
  3. one elevated viewing platform made of wood, vinyl and carpet with dimensions of approximately 26 feet by 26 feet by 9 feet upon which consumers will be encouraged to stand and take "selfies" with the Display in the background,
  4. approximately 10 "brand ambassadors" who will walk around the entirety of Union Square Park, including the lawns and the South Plaza, to encourage park users to participate in the Activation, and
  5. commercial signage throughout promoting Ray Ban sunglasses; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes that the Activation will occur from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m with set-up for the Activation to commence at 8:00 p.m. on the evening before the Activation, and breakdown and clean-up to be completed by 4:00 a.m. on the morning after the Activation; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes to solicit personal information from park users that choose to participate in the Activation including name, date of birth, e-mail address, phone number and social media user information, in order to use such information for marketing purposes; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant proposes to film the Activation space, including persons who do not participate in the Activation but are passing through the space, in order to create footage that the Applicant will use to make promotional video content, including but not limited to time-lapse videos in which individuals will not be personally identifiable; and

WHEREAS, The Activation will include amplified sound; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five has significant concerns about the Activation, including but not limited to:

  1. the gigantic size of the Display, which significantly impedes park access and causes excessive and complete commercialization of the North Plaza,
  2. invasion of park-users' privacy caused by filming throughout the Activation,
  3. the large number of "brand ambassadors" circulating throughout the park, and
  4. amplified music and other sound; and

WHEREAS, The Event would be purely commercial and lacking any public benefit to local and non-local park users alike; and

WHEREAS, Although the Applicant's Representative indicated the Applicant was interested in revising the application in some key ways, including the reduction of the footprint of the Display, the elimination of amplified sound, the elimination of the use of the South Plaza, and making a donation to charity, these modifications came after the public hearing; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board 5 recommends denial of the application from Hargrove for "Ray-Ban Remix Activation NYC," a public event in Union Square Park on either September 25, 2014 or October  30, 2014.

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