Posted by: David Kiley on February 9, 2005
The Virginia State Legislature has passed a law that will fine people for exposing their underwear in public. Hear that terrorists…our state legislatures are hard at work insuring our security. Don’t mess with us.
I know this blog is about marketing. But the beauty of writing about marketing is that it encompasses so much.
There is a lot brand traffic in this frivolous law.
First: Virginia retailers may want to stock up on some more low-rider pants, because my parenting experience tells me that the more we geezers (I’m 41 and Delegate Algie T. Howell, D-Norfolk who sponsored the bill, is 67) object to what young people wear, eat or listen to the more they want it. For a guy named “Algie,” he’s not very hip to this theory.
What he is very hip to is a way to create instant brand recognition for Algie T. Howell. Despite his age, he is a freshman legislator. If he had started out doing what state legislators are supposed to do—worry over state pollution, transportation, education and the like—he might have toiled away in anonymity for years. Now, everyone in Virginia knows him. He’s getting lots of fan mail from Methodists and Rotarians. I’d lay odds he will be all over the Fox Network this week. Do I hear Governor’s Race?
While I am not surprised the Norfolkian proposed the bill for his own notoriety, I am a little surprised that the rest of the body voted to pass it. But then again, this is a legislature that also is considering bills to ban watching porn on in-car DVD players; no fondling yourself in public (especially if you are watching porn in your car); and no “sex related” clubs in public schools (specifically no gay-lesbian clubs). Apparently, the sponsor of that last bill, Del. Glenn Weatherholtz, R-Harrisonburg, hasn’t been taught that being gay is a sexual orientation, not merely an act. Next up, as I understand it, this visionary bunch of legislators is proposing a bill to curb Alan Freed’s air-time on commercial radio, as well as banning Henry Miller and Norman Mailer from school libraries. You folks in Virginia are da bomb.