Wednesday, November 17, 2010LUS needs to reach customers, and learn how to fight in the marketplace.
The Lafayette sign ordinance that Cox Communications (in)famously used to stick it to LUS Fiber recently is more than 6,800 words long. Signage, it turns out, isn’t a simple topic. The ordinance delineates about two dozen types of signs subject to restriction — billboards, directional signs, flashing signs, illuminated signs, monument signs, pole signs, readerboards and so on.
It was passed three years ago mainly to address the proliferation of so-called snipe signs on telephone poles at busy intersections — the ribbed, vinyl and coated-cardboard advertisements for tax preparers, vitamin elixirs (remember Mona Vie?), lawn services and the like. Snipe signs are defined by the ordinance as signs “made of any material, which is attached to a tree, pole, stake, fence, or other object, and which contains advertising matter that is not applicable to the use of the premises upon which it is located.”
The ordinance stipulates that one must get approval from the Planning, Zoning and Codes Department to put up any kind of sign in Lafayette; the fee city-parish government charges for removal is $100 per sign.
One wonders how many hundreds of dollars worth of these signs are gathering dust in a closet now that LUS has caved in and stopped offering them to new customers.
On a recent morning jog through my neighborhood, Oaklawn, I counted nearly a dozen signs similar in style to the LUS signs: scofflaw painters, hooligan plumbers and misdemeanor-minded roofers, depraved families hailing their children’s accomplishments on the playing field or the cheerleading squad. In a few weeks the nefariously pious will post the “Keep Christ in Christmas” snipe signs in their yards. They always do.
Clearly the sign ordinance isn’t enforced. But it’s hard to imagine that LUS was giving out the signs knowing the ordinance isn’t enforced. It’s easier to assume that LUS Fiber — a commercial venture run like a public utility by engineers and bureaucrats — didn’t consider whether this marketing idea was illegal and didn’t anticipate Cox challenging it.
The flap over the yard signs appears to be symptomatic of a broader failure by LUS to fully anticipate the many hurdles it would face in rolling out this new enterprise. As this week’s cover story indicates, LUS Fiber isn’t near where it anticipated it would be in terms of commercial success. Like many of its supporters, the LUS folk may have assumed that once the legal hurdles were cleared a few years ago, they could make a bee line from concept to reality. That hasn’t exactly been the case.
LUS needs to get its message out, and clearly yard signs are not going to be the way to do it.
My humble suggestion would be for LUS to do more advertising in The Independent, both our print and online versions. We’re pretty focused on the city of Lafayette, which comprises our main readership and LUS’ sole customer base. Plus, we’re a free pub. Advertising pays our salaries, of which we’re duly enamored.
Cox routinely buys ads and inserts in this publication. We thank them for it.
In a way we can also thank LUS Fiber for Cox’s ads. I would wager that Cox’s advertising budget in Lafayette — not to mention the sweet deals it offers to new customers — has increased substantially since some competition entered the market.
Judging from the tone of the comments on the ind.com related to our story last week about Cox threatening to sue LCG and LUS over its yard signs, many were aghast and offended that Cox would bully LUS over some silly signs.
But bullying this is not; it’s showing up at a knife fight with a damn knife. LUS showed up with good intentions and a spread sheet. The knife usually wins.
The flap over the yard signs appears to be symptomatic of a broader failure by LUS to fully anticipate the many hurdles it would face in rolling out this new enterprise.
Poor TV10, once a ratings juggernaut among Lafayette television-news consumers, reduced now to doddering among its ceramic cat collection in a musty TV parlor, muttering about the good old days as it adjusts the afghan on its lap.
Undergarments for every style
The Lafayette Parish School Board made about $13 million in cuts during Tuesday’s special meeting, but what are the repercussions?
Gay and bisexual men, who are banned for life by the FDA from donating blood, are being urged to make a statement Saturday.
More than 8,800 students have been awarded vouchers to attend Louisiana private schools with taxpayer dollars in the upcoming school year, a 30 percent growth in the program championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Three bedroom house or two bedroom condo
The Americans for Prosperity ad, which will air statewide on TV and also online, says Landrieu's position as leader of the Senate energy committee hasn't helped Louisiana, a heavy energy-producing state.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his conviction on bribery, money laundering and other corruption charges.
The tumultuous fight between Louisiana landowners and the oil and gas industry over environmental damages and legacy lawsuits is an overly politicized process, which typically results in tainted lands being left as is.
To know the retired UL art history professor was to love him.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Brazil in shock over World Cup defeat; Obama heads to Texas; Israeli offensive continues and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 09, 2014.
Gobble it up with a side of Smith fries
Local attorney helps expand service offerings at Andrus Boudreaux Complete Title, which specializes in commercial and residential real estate closings.
Controversial LSU professor David Dismukes has come under fire once again, this time from 20 solar-power groups over his role in a Louisiana PSC study on the costs and benefits of alternative energy.
The state labor department figures released Monday show the initial claims decreased to 2,577 from the previous week's total of 2,604. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 3,027.
Both the House and Senate have voted to cancel the veto override session set to start this week.
The eight Republicans vying for the open 6th District congressional seat are trying to highlight differences among their personal resumes, as they strike largely similar policy positions.
In spite of the so-called “Jindal Miracle” — AKA smoke and mirrors — Gov. Bobby Jindal remains one of the most unpopular governors in the United States.
Did you hear? We are on the hunt for style
Three bedroom Acadian or four bedroom traditional home
Chuck Huebner, the veteran anchor and investigative reporter at KLFY TV10, has been fired.
Louisiana officials are refusing to disclose the details of crude oil shipments railroads haul through the state.
About 300 career and technical education teachers from across the state are attending training courses in Lafayette this week as part of the state's push to prepare high school students to take full advantage of Louisiana's growing jobs market.
It was sometime before 7 a.m. Monday when Lon Lomas was struck by an unidentified vehicle while cycling along La. 92 near Milton.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Go beyond glaze with revamped classics to start your morning
The audit, released Monday, says the monthly Bayou Health and Louisiana Behavioral Health Program payments were made for 2,644 inmates over the 23 months ending Dec. 31, 2013.
Faced with paying a hefty ethics fine, the local real estate developer sells another property, his Wingate by Wyndham hotel.